A letter to Santa...plus your chance to add your two cents
Here’s my wish list:
1. Alarm volume that really works. And I want it to both beep and vibrate at the same time, if I choose. I want the alarm volume to be user selectable from dainty to sooooooooooooooo loud the entire room will turn and stare. I want it to be able to wake the dead because one if its jobs is to make sure I don’t join them late some night while I am sleeping. I also want each alarm to have it’s own distinct personality. The original Guardian was great this way. The kind of noise it made told you the kind of alarm you were having. ParaPump tries to do this, but the alarms are too low in volume to be any use at all even in the summer (I can’t imagine how it will be under winter clothes. Serves me right for wearing a device made in sunny California. Note to MedT engineers lounging on the beach: in the rest of the country it can get pretty damn cold and we have to add layers.). Also, ParaPump’s alarms are so short you can barely make out the difference in sounds. Longer alarm time, please. It wouldn’t bother me to change batteries every week if I that is the price I need to pay for these features.
2. A home screen that isn’t blank. We got all this cool info, but ya’ gotta press buttons to get at it. Let us leave the pump wherever we want. Most of us will leave it on one of the CGM screens I’ll bet.
3. And speaking of the screen….what about a color one? Higher res too. We could do some fun stuff with the hypos and hypers on a color screen. Or if you combine items 2 and 3 you can take a page from cell phones and computers and let the user import a low res image file of their kid, spouse, or pet to personalize the device. I feel you MedT folks cringing as you read this, but I’ve got news for you: this really isn’t the medical device you think it is. You know how most people virtually never leave home without their cell phones? Well, we pumpers literally never leave home without our pumps. I spend more time with my pump than I do with my wife and child combined. Why not make it fun? For kids could we put some games on the pump? I’m old enough to still love my PDA but my phone doesn’t even know what time it is. If it were a VCR it would be flashing “12:00” all day long. Why can’t a pump do more? I carry the PDA for a carb data base. It’s also got a few key phone numbers like Lotta Burger in Santa Fe and my PCP’s FAX number. I use the calculator to figure out tips at restaurants. Did I tell you all the story of trying to buy a new PDA at BestBuy? The pimple-faced 12-year-old sales clerk tells me they don’t stock PDAs anymore. Seems they are passé with the advent of “smart phones.” But I like my dumb phone, I told the kid. That was pretty much the end of the conversation. Anyway, you can still get PDAs from the Palm Store on-line. Sorry, I digress. But it seems to me like this kind of simple minded stuff could be in a pump. I want to be clear, however, I do not want my pump/CGM to be one and the same as my cell phone. Some lines should just not be crossed. That’s like mating with monkeys in my book. Besides which, it seems cell phones are always running out of juice. You could actually talk your way into DKA if your phone and pump were one in the same, right? But aside from that, why shouldn’t a pump be the ultimate consumer electronic device for the diabetes population?
4. On the more practical side I want an Active Insulin (a.k.a. IOB or BOB) status screen. And I want to choose how to set it. For those of you who don’t know there are two approaches it active insulin. Whether or not to count just correction insulin or to count correction and insulin assigned to carbs. I like the more comprehensive approach myself. MedT does it the other way, with some good justification that is too complicated to cover right here and now. I just think we should be able to choose. But at a minimum, give us the results without having to enter a fake bolus in the wizard and then scrolling foooooooooooooooorever.
5. I nearly short-circuited my laptop by drooling on the keyboard when I was reading about the new version of the Guardian. It has slope and predictive alarms. I want those on my ParaPump, please.
6. And speaking of alarms and the like, let us set different alarm thresholds for day and night.
7. I think you should make the transmitter flesh colored. Anyone’s flesh. Chinese flesh color will be just fine. I’ll still look better against my Caucasian skin than this yucky cream color. Or go the other way and make it look like jewelry. Make it shiny silver with a medic alert symbol on it.
8. Let the remote power the bolus wiz.
9. Rethink the menu system altogether. You shouldn’t have to press that many buttons to do routine things, like eat. You know, we are pretty smart people. We can handle more than four buttons on our devices if that’s what it takes. I’m sure that some of the engineers worry about the fact that a large number of pumps are worn by kids. No firm wants to try to get both a juvie pump and an adult pump through FDA. But trust me, kids nowadays are way more tech-savvy than us oldsters. They can handle it.
10. Let us choose how many hours of CGM data to display.
11. Let us set different basal rates for different days of the week so we don’t have to manually change patterns for the weekend.
12. Keep the clips. I love them, especially the “holster” style belt clip.
13. Last item (for now!). Keep CareLink online. It’s great for visiting the Doc. But I still want to see smart software. I want CareLink to analyze my data, not just display it in pretty graphs. I want it to look at my basals and give me tips about changing my settings. Of course it will have to have five million liability waivers and consult your doctor statements, but still, let’s do it. Think of it as one of the first steps in the journey to a closed-loop pump system.
OK, diabetes blogosphere. That’s my wish-list. Now it is your turn. Tell MedT what you want to see!