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I've finally decided I'm done being a Luddite -- I want to trade in my notebook and pencil for the Carelink software to track my diabetes. I think a long time ago it was free but now it looks like you have to buy a $60 usb drive -- is that the case? Also, how useful do you find the software? Does it allow you to add information or does it simply download what's in your pump? Any other insight you can pass along is appreciated!
I find it extremely useful. I'd started using an UltraSmart meter before I got my pump but all I've ever done is print reports off. The carelink ones are handy and provide useful data in simple charts, if I'm running low after lunch every day, it'll be there and I can figure out how to fix it pretty easily? I had a 722 pump and just switched to the 523 that seems to have a bit more "event recording"? I'd be interested in exercise but it doesn't prompt for details so I've sort of blown off using it so far.
Yes, I wish we had more of an ability to modify/edit these tags. I use the meter to record "hard" or "mild" exercise, but even that doesn't give me the the detail I need. If Minimed came out with an iPhone app that interfaced with Carelink, that would be awesome.
I have a Garmin thing that I use for running, mostly to track pace/ mileage but it also notes the calories (1900 for 1/2 marathon!). It is very frustrating to know the data is there but not to have access to or to be able to "sew" it together to see things. I guess that's my job to write the crap down but, after I run, I'm not really in the mood to make notes and log stuff.
I happen to have an extra
I got one with my pump and one with my CGM Im willing to part with it.
I find that I used it a lot at first and my doctor likes to upload my pump at the office. They have one there that I can use at any time as well.
It is a good tool if you are trying to tweak your basal rates or carb ratios.
i use the carelink antenna its a great way to download the data i just wish they made better reports like the reports my doctor can get. they sell a differant software to the Doctors called pro. the reports you get are great for seeing where you are and tracking week to week bg levels. i can also see if i am eating more that i was.
It aggravates me to no end that they won't give us access to Carelink Pro. I have asked 2-3 MM reps why that is, and none of them have an (acceptable) answer. They kinda hem-and-haw around the question.
And to Beanstock: Your question "Does it allow you to add information or does it simply download what's in your pump?", the answer is yes. It's really simple to add information. For example, I use the carelink software to keep track of when I do an infusion set change - and where I place it. It's really handy.
What is Carelink pro?
Carelink Pro is the version the doc has. The trainer showed me when we did the "trial" CGM which I was annoyed wasn't "live" in that it recorded data to be displayed on it without making it available to me. The docs take the "data export (CSV) file and puts in into a different version of the reports, a bit fancier I think? I agree w/ gigem that having the doc looking at one set of reports and me looking at another doesn't make a lot of sense.
I love/strongly like the Carelink software. I upload everything from both my pump and my meter. I do the meter separately because I tag a lot of my BG entries with things like "exercise" or "feel hypo" or whatever. I was always a horrible logger, mainly because, oh, I don't know....I HAVE A LIFE! Writing everything down would work for awhile and then I'd fall off the wagon.
For the most part, the data I upload to Carelink are really useful in adjusting my basal rates.
However, I wish they would take this software a step further.
1. I wish the software didn't require the installation of software/applets. I want to be able to upload my data through any computer that happens to be near me (PC, MAC, etc). For example, I can't upload data on my work computer because Carelink requires the installation of software.
2. I want the ability to access my data on my iPhone. And not only access, but also add information (like exercise, type of exercise, etc). I should NOT have to access a computer to add these things. I would think that Medtronic could easily come out with an app that allows for this. Medtronic, hello??? Do you hear me???
3. I wish you could also create web-based interactive graphics with overlays and the ability to click on a data point and see what the exact value/time of it was.
Other than all this, I will say that Carelink is probably the best logging software out there. The ability to upload everything from my pump to Carelink is just....amazing (but I grew up in the era of paper log books that became so smudged with use or so filled with made-up numbers that I am still in awe).
I also wish they'd made a more useful "exercise tagger" in the 523. I have this "Lose It" app on my phone that's very easy to use and I have to think that it's more useful to be able for a doctor to know "fencing aggressively for 2 hours burns off 1750 calories...[this is a SWAG, no offense to fencers intended!]" than "exercise"? I guess they are trying to keep it simple but I think there's enough people who exercise a lot that just putting that info into your data stream would make sense.
Yeah, I mean not all exercise is created equal when you're a T1. Some types and forms of exercise cause me to go high and some cause me to go low. I have had to do a lot of separate tracking and experimenting to find the right basal rates for various forms and durations of exercise.
And I want an iphone app to enter things on the go. I rarely use my personal computer these days, what with iTunes uploading via the cloud. In fact, I just realized the other day that I pretty much ONLY use my personal laptop when I need to upload my pump data!!