Posted: March, 2012
The CoPilot® Health Management System Version 4.2 from Abbott Laboratories does what you would expect a diabetes software package to do. It imports data from your blood glucose meter then provides you the ability to view the data through a variety of charts and graphs to help you understand your blood sugar patterns.
A key feature of the software package is the ability to upload the data to your Health Care Provider assuming they are using the HCP installation of CoPilot® Health Management System in their office. This provides a convenient method for a doctor to monitor a patents glucose level and other health factors.
You will need a serial to USB cable which can be purchased from Abbott or other online medical supply stores, but I found a compatible, less expensive cable from Celeritous. I ordered my cable from Celeritous and it arrived in a few days. It worked well and was fully documented on how to install the USB cable drivers.
The program allows for multiple users and each glucose meter connected to the software is assignable to a specific user. CoPilot® also provides the option to add additional data. Additional data types are insulin, meals, exercise, health status (sick, normal, tired, stressed and more), medical changes, ketone levels and lab results. The actual benefit of being able to record all that valuable data is seriously diminished by a poor user interface and some program lockups, resulting in Ctl + Alt + Del > Start Task Manager > End Task. More on that later.
The installation was smooth and uneventful. Go to Abbott's website, complete a form which includes your meters serial number and a few questions, download the application and run the setup file. You go through the normal installation routines, but at the end there is a warning for those users of insulin pumps or continuous glucose monitoring systems that additional software is required, but does not say what it is or where to get it. A quick call to Abbott's customer service center at 1-888-522-5226 informed me that all a user of these devices needs to do is call Abbott, provide the type of device you are using and they will send you the additional software.
Microsoft® Windows® 7 (32 bit and 64 bit), Windows® XP (32 bit), Windows® Vista (32 and 64 bit).
The CoPilot System does not run on Apple computers.
Monitor with 1024x768 or higher resolution.
RS-232 Serial port, or USB port Data cable, required for uploading data from compatible meters. Additional information is available for data cables.
Although accurate and convenient for detecting type 2 diabetes and prediabetes in adults, current HbA1c cutoffs may not be enough to diagnose diabetes in children.
A 2010 clinical practice guideline from the American Diabetes Association recommends that physicians exclusively use the HbA1c assay to detect diabetes. The guidelines recommend a cutoff of 6.5% or greater for diagnosis.
However, researchers for two recent studies highlight significant vulnerabilities in the recommended test’s ability to diagnose diabetes and prediabetes in children.
In the next two articles we’re going to discuss the concept of "normal" blood sugar. I say concept and put normal in quotation marks because what passes for normal in mainstream medicine turns out to be anything but normal if optimal health and function are what you’re interested in.