by John Hughes firstname.lastname@example.org March 25, 2002
I ran all of the following programs on a Handspring Visor Deluxe with 8MB of memory. It was running the Palm OS v3.0.1H.
The reviewed programs are shareware or freeware, except for ezManager which is a commercial product from Animas Corp.
Reviewers note: From the programs reviewed, there is not a single one that does everything I want, so I would love to be able to combine features in different products. ;-) I think ezManager shows the most promise, but I have also spoken to the author of GlucoPilot and he claims to be working on another version. I like GlucoPilot's ability to produce a graph of my bg values right on the Palm. Everyone else makes you transfer the data to a PC and graph it in their companion program or something like Excel. So call me a graph geek, but I like the instant feedback of the graphs at any time and/or place.
Here's a quick run down on each program:
ezManager Desktop is a companion program that runs on Windows and gives you additional features not found on the Palm version. This program will let you produce graphs and reports from the data entered on the Palm. If you enter data in the Windows software, you can then Hotsync with the Palm and the data is shown in both applications. The Desktop software will also allow you to have more than one user profile, so you can manage the data of more than one diabetic.
One thing to note, as of February 12, 2002 ezManager is at a "first release" stage. The program works well and never crashes, but do not expect it to do everything in a wonderful fashion. It still needs some work, but Animas is actively working to improve it. An example of where it needs to get better: You CANNOT edit a record on the Palm after you have saved it. Yep, you're probably thinking the same thing I did. You can edit the data once you transfer it to the Desktop program on Windows. Also, they do NOT have any online help in either the Palm or Windows programs, and the user manual stinks, but that is just my opinion.
ezManager sells for $99.99 US or $69.99 US for users of an Animas insulin pump. See the following link for more information: http://www.animascorp.com/products/pr_ezmanager.shtml
Another nice feature in my opinion is when you plot a line chart, you can tap on any of the data points to view information about that record. I mentioned that GlucoPilot can filter data based on a category and the user can create their own categories if the predefined ones are not sufficient. Also, GlucoPilot has a Quick Summary line at the bottom of the Main screen that will show a value the user can select from the drop-down list. It shows Today's Glucose Average by default, but can also show total Glucose Ave., Glucose Minimum, Glucose Maximum, etc.
GlucoPilot does not calculate carbs or insulin dosages, and it does NOT contain a food database. It can track carbs, but you have to enter the data.
GlucoPilot's author, Scott Hanselman, is currently giving GlucoPilot a face lift and a new version should be available soon. I know color support is one of the items he's adding. For more info, contact Scott by email at email@example.com
GlucoPilot is shareware with a price of $29 US. It can be obtained from http://www.hanselman.com/glucopilot/
DiabetesPilot is available as shareware for $24 US and the author will donate 25% of the proceeds to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Download it from: http://www.diabetespilot.com
The following programs are a significant step down from the ones already mentioned. They are either free or cheaper than GlucoPilot, DiabetesPilot, or ezManager, and in my opinion you are getting what you pay for.
That is my quick overview of the programs listed and my opinion as to their usefulness. ezManager has the most features, but is also the most expensive. DiabetesPilot and GlucoPilot are good shareware alternatives to ezManager at a cheaper price.
I personally like using GlucoPilot and I use CarbCheck with it. CarbCheck is a freeware food database available from http://clix.to/peachbud
My unofficial ranking of the reviewed programs is shown below. This ranking is listed in a descending order, which means that 1 is the best and 9 is the lowest ranking. This ranking was determined on my subjective view of the price/value ratio of each program.
Copyright (c) 2002, Insulin Pumpers and John Hughes
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