Objective: To describe how blood glucose software downloading has been successfully incorporated into a clinical practice by focusing on key data--frequency of testing, blood glucose averages, and standard deviations.
Methods: The development of self-monitoring of blood glucose, including the spectrum of blood glucose monitors and diabetes management software programs, is reviewed, and clinical applications in specific cases are presented.
Results: Since the 1980s, motivated patients with diabetes have used portable meters to monitor their blood glucose levels. The practice became a standard of care in 1993, when the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial demonstrated that maintaining near-normal glycemic levels could prevent or delay the long-term complications of type 1 diabetes. Since then, the technology of blood glucose monitoring has burgeoned--an array of memory meters and downloading software offers clinicians and patients more information than ever before. Yet, because health-care providers and patients are often at a loss to interpret and apply the resulting plethora of data, few take full advantage of the latest technology. Important insights are shared about certain downloaded information from glucose meters that will help improve or maintain glycemic control.
Conclusion: Data downloaded from glucose meters can be used in conjunction with written records in logbooks to evaluate glucose patterns and formulate more precise and efficacious therapeutic regimens.