Just like the iPhone version, the food database is structurally sound but the data within the database (food items) give me a headache. There are either too many variations of the same thing, or not enough. I cover, to a greater detail, the meal logging component of Diabetes Pilot in the iPhone version review. I am not going to rehash the same issues here but will summarize that just like the in the mobile version, I only added the carbs of the meal using a Quick button for fast data entry. In the PC version you click in the meal details section where you can quickly add the values you wish to log for that meal.
There is one significant advantage in entering meals in the PC version as opposed to the mobile version and that’s the ability to drag food items from the menu tree and drop them into the Meals Details box. From the Saved Meals tab you can drag a meal you previously created and saved, to the Meal Details Area. When you press the Use Selected Meal button the individual items which were part of that meal are populated to the Detail Area. Any item placed into the details box can be removed by clicking the “Remove Food From Meal” button. This does give the advantage of being able remove or add individual components of a meal. Like I said, the food database is flexible and if you are willing to customize the items I think usable.
Note: The Remove Food From Meal button does not appear when on the Saved Meals tab.
Diabetes Pilot groups all logbooks and charts into the same area, Reports. At first glance you will see that most of the graphical reports are not as colorful or slick as you find in some other applications but the data is clearly presented and easy to understand. I don’t know if the lack of color is that big a deal, but when you look at the Pie Chart in the “Glucose By Range” report, the information seems far more powerful than if the chart did not use color. That report is also the only graphical report that uses the target range settings. Even though I am a big boy and I can see the glucose levels on the chart and know what is too high, I feel somewhat cheated that the charts do not use more color to help analyze data. Then I remember that I do not use a color printer (BW laser), so what’s the problem? The problem is some people need a slap in the face to wake up and realize they are not doing too well in managing their diabetes. I think having colored backgrounds thereby seeing those high readings in a red zone has more impact on someone to help them realize a problem might exist.
The charts are wysiwyg (What you see is what you get, for you none nerds) and appear on your computer screen as they will on paper. Along the top menu of the Reports view page there is a button called Print Layout. It is essentially a Print Preview button, although you can change reports and the page preview will update on the fly.
Any report using the words Listing, Log Book, Grid or Summary is a table or grid style report. The two reports Record Listing and Record Listing (Plain) are the same report with the Record Listing report placing a line between the days. There are no grid lines on some of the reports which I found made it a little hard to follow the data. If you really want grid lines between data cells, it is very easy to save the data in a .xls file. From there you could use your favorite spread sheet program to add lines.
Some of these reports use colored text to indicate glucose values that are in or out of the target ranges. Target ranges can be set in the preferences section but you need to use a color printer if you wish to print logbook style reports and gain from setting your target ranges. High Glucose levels are indicated by red text. When printed on a black and white printer, those values are bold but do not jump out at you in the same manner as if printed in color. The use of colored text as the only means of conveying if the numeric value is below, in or above your target ranges may also be an issue for users with various forms color blindness. Color alone should not be used to convey information1.
1. Section 508 Reference Guide
1194.21(i) "Color coding shall not be used as the only means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element."
Recent headlines about cinnamon are the result of an accidental finding in a Maryland USDA research center. Incredibly, the catalyst was as American as good old apple pie, flavored with -- what else -- cinnamon. Scientists were testing the effects of various foods on blood sugar (glucose) levels. They expected the classic pie to have an adverse effect, but instead they found it actually helped lower blood glucose levels.
The researchers then took their surprising discovery and tested it in a small 60 patient study conducted in Pakistan, reporting in the journal Diabetes Care. All the patients had been treated for type 2, adult onset diabetes for several years and were taking anti-diabetic drugs to increase their insulin output. But they were not yet taking insulin to help process their blood glucose. The subjects were given small doses of cinnamon ranging from as little as a quarter teaspoon to less than 2 teaspoons a day for 40 days.