With diabetes management, you find yourself juggling a lot of numbers and data. How do you manage all that data, and how do you use it to better your management? We discussed managing all those numbers with members of the diabetes community and Jewels Doskicz, RN and T1D, during this week’s online community discussion.
Q. Data overload is part of our every day. How does the information flow impact you?
A. Jewels: The beeps and bleeps of my data and my daughter’s are reassuring. I’m grateful for them, but they don’t always promote peaceful rest.
• I need to make sure I have good data. If it’s not good, clean data, then it does me no good.
• It’s always a challenge to deal with the firehose of diabetes data. I focus on the most important parts and distill as much as possible.
• Data fatigue is real, and I’m working on being more mindful of how and when I access my continuous glucose monitor data.
• I deal with it by letting it all come in, then analyzing later when I have more data to look at.
Q. Do you look at your data beyond the past 24 hours to identify patterns and make changes?
A. Jewels: I do look at data trends to make management decisions. Data doesn’t always paint the entire picture with teens, though.
• I don’t really look at 24-hour data to make changes. Maybe a quick fix, but it’s long-term data that counts for me.
• I tend to focus on the here and now. Test and respond.
• Long-term patterns inspire me to tweak small things that make a big difference.
Q. Do you share your data with your physician or Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) between appointments? Why or why not?
A. Jewels: I rarely share our data with our physicians and CDE between appointments. I identify and make the necessary adjustments.
• I upload monthly and send my CDE a note. She usually quickly checks [my data] and may suggest an adjustment.
• No. I review and make tweaks and adjustments on my own all the time, though.
• I share with my physician, but they only look at a one-week snapshot, not all the data. I feel like it’s not as useful.
• I’ll note info between appointments for discussion. Face to face is always better for me.
Q. When choosing a diabetes healthcare provider, do you consider their tech engagement?
A. Jewels: I appreciate tech engagement, but other skills, a positive demeanor, and bedside manner are very important to me as well.
• Not so much, though I’m grateful my endo is wired. I’m more concerned about them being current on research.
• I use tech for life, they need to too!
• I do not. I am in the driver’s seat for my tech as a techie myself.
Q. Does your physician’s office easily engage with your data via the cloud or an app? What works and what doesn’t?
A. Jewels: My physician doesn’t, but my daughter’s does. They prefer to download devices at check in, but we also print some [data] at home.
• My CDE uses Diasend to access my data, but my end couldn’t care less. Luckily they are a good team.
• With Medtronic CareLink, my endo can see my CGM data in real time, plus I can generate physician reports.
• My endo does a data dump from my meter if I bring it in. They also have onsite instant A1c testing!
Q. What’s stopping you from sharing your data?
A. Jewels: There isn’t an endo where I live. I see an internal medicine doctor who is lovely in all ways, but isn’t tech savvy with diabetes.
• I’d gladly share glucose data, but no one seems to care. A1c is the one test to rule them all.
• I used to hate sharing data because I was ashamed of my blood sugars.
• I think many healthcare providers don’t want it, and probably wouldn’t know what to do with it even if they had it.
Q. The best combination of healthcare, tech, and data utilization would look like ____?
A. Jewels: If providers had time to see and engage with real-time data, it would close many gaps in diabetes care.
• The best combination of elements of healthcare would be diverse and open. Together, everyone achieves more.
• I think it would be a closed-loop system with healthcare providers helping patients get the most out of it.
• Data should be analyzed if it’s available. Healthcare providers shouldn’t just rely on tech as many [patients] can’t afford it. Foundational care should be a priority.
• There should be highly trained health educators available across multiple platforms.
Q. If you engage more thoroughly with your data, it would make improvements in ____?
A. Jewels: My A1c of course, but it’s always the same, and I’m content where it’s at.
• Managing my diabetes. That was my problem for a long time; I wasn’t using or even collecting data.
• I’m not really sure what else I can get out of it right now. I’m at a sweet spot. I do want to engage less with data, to be honest.
• My quality of life, hopefully!
Q. What diabetes apps do you utilize? What’s your favorite and why?
• Twitter and the diabetes online community have been the best thing for my diabetes the last couple years.
• I use Tidepool, Diasend, and Gluvue from Stanford Children’s.
• I use the DPAC app.
Thank you to Jewels and members of the diabetes online community who joined this week’s discussion.