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Represented data values

Page history last edited by Bernard Farrell 12 years, 5 months ago

When building a new information system, the supported data values are really building blocks. They support the system itself, and they determine what the system is capable of doing.


For people with type 1 diabetes, I believe there are at least six different types of data needed in the system. Each data item will always have a time part, indicating when it happened and, for some items, a duration. The duration will be useful for exercise; some medications; and sickness, among others.


Because I'm focused on the needs of type 1 diabetes I'm assuming the primary treatment is Insulin. But even with type 1 diabetes, there are a number of other medications that may be worth tracking. This might form another data type, though it should be considered as part of a Personal Health Record (PHR) or Electronic Health Record (EHR).



  1. Blood glucose readings.
  2. Insulin taken.
  3. Medications taken: type, dosage, time.
  4. Carbohydrates consumed (also protein, fat, fiber)
  5. Events: exercise; stress.
  6. Comments: sickness; travel; new job.


The first five choices are obvious, but I also believe it's critical to be able to represent comments as a critical piece of data that should be presented in a structured way so it can be interpreted by software.


For example, if I'm using a continuous glucose meter whose readings are affected by other medications, then I may want to enter a comment with an associated range of time to indicate that these readings aren't correct.


The system must be flexible and extensible to support future requirements. The way in which data is represented should reflect that.


Comments (5)

Bennet said

at 9:07 am on Jul 19, 2010

It think the comments are key to bringing the data to service of living with diabetes. Nuance will come from the comments.

Bennet said

at 9:08 am on Jul 19, 2010

Oh and a time stamp. Everything needs a time stamp.

Bennet said

at 9:21 am on Jul 19, 2010

With regard to insulin taken. Data systems track basal and bolus insulin as distinct.

It doesn't sound like rocket science but I have yet to see a good way to tracking basals. They matter. The ability to tune them is one of the key advantages of pumping. Yet they are brutal to manage in a growing kid.

I think the possibly the best case for CGM in pediatric use is tracking over night BG to tune overnight Basal rates. Yet there aren't tools to facilitate this.

Bernard Farrell said

at 9:24 am on Jul 19, 2010

Agreed, I need to fill in more details about what each of these readings contain for data. EVERYTHING has a time stamp. For basals and extended boluses you really need a time range or a start time and duration.

Bennet said

at 9:27 am on Jul 19, 2010

I think they key is the start time and the programing can use user defined durations. I am not sure that everyone's duration is the same. In fact I think there is some variability there and it is something that data analysis can help sort out fir individuals.

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