January 24, 2009

Two Out of Three

YDMV regulars (including a bunch of hits from J&J IP addresses) know I have been very critical of Animas’ exManager. OK in point of fact I called it “Totally Unacceptable.” There was a new version released last summer. I finally took it for a quick test drive. In this first pass I was looking for three things that I feel are criteria.

1) Does it upload pump setting changes correctly?
2) Can I make adjustments to the pump settings without connecting to the pump?
3) Does the log book show basal rates satisfactorily?

Less wrong than before.

Feel free to stop reading now if you want - the rest is minutia with a few obscure jokes

I am happy to say you can edit pump settings without maintaining a connection to the pump through the dongle. I could create pump settings and save them to a file without the pump. Yeah!

It is a big time saver to connect and save the pump settings to pre-fill a file to start. That way I was editing not starting from scratch but I could do either. That is a big and way overdue improvement.

It was by no means intuitively obvious that I could start with a file from my computer. To open a file I had to act like I was configuring with a download. Specifically I clicked START on the Configure Insulin Pump Data screen right below where I told it what type of pump and what port to scan to find our pump.

Then I clicked Open in the upper right hand part of the next screen. It asked if I was sure I wanted to open a file. After I said Yes it lets me into open a file. A bit convoluted for someone like me who would think File Open but it got me there.

The manual says you get the setup features specific to the model pump you have. Sure enough I got different screens depending on the pump I picked in the drop down up there on the Configure Insulin Pump Data screen. (I had to go back and look.)

So this begs the question is there an import / export utility to move settings if we upgrade pump models, say a 1250 to a Ping? So far I haven’t found one.

I did find an import utility under tools. When I tried to import the file I saved previously it did a strange thing, well not so strange for exManager, it crashed. It said it imported the file successfully then said it was 93% done and took a dive. Nothing a three finger salute (ctl alt del) couldn’t fix. I can replicate the crash, so genius that I am, I am guessing that isn’t what that import menu option if for.

Anyway that is beyond the scope of my three questions test drive. Lets review: So far it lets me open a file without the pump connected. I could edit basal rates in that file. Next I managed to save and up load the file with new basal rates into my DD's pump. Two down of the three down with unexpectedly good results.

On to reports. We are going on a trip in the Wayback machine with Mr. Peabody to start. (Keeping in mind you have 5th amendment rights, anyone old enough to get the Mr. Peabody reference? Was it brilliant writing or what?)

Speaking of writing (but way less brilliant than Bill Scott,) in July '06 I wrote Animas a letter in part about the ezManager Log report. I said, “The 24 hour log in ezManager is a nice report. Unfortunately the basal insulin delivery on that report is at best misleading if not downright dangerous. As I understand it basal insulin is reported in totality for periods of time. Speciffically (sic – yeah I can't spell even with spell check, but the readers of YDMV already hold these truths to be self evident.) my understanding is the basal insulin for a few hours is totaled and reported in the last of those hours. So you have no basal for a while and a ton in one period. As it is the report is nicely designed but unfortunately unusable as it is reports information dead wrong.”

The good news it doesn’t aggregate basals anymore. The bad news is it still shows nothing if the basal doesn’t change in a give time period. See there is nothing at 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12. WTF? Still BOGUS.

Here's my last observation. No help menu. F1 doesn't do a thing. Not particularly helpful. Nor is the manual.

So the program is better but still has short comings. I guess what will be interesting is what will they do for software when they have have a CGM product in the upcoming year? I hope it is all new. I am afraid it will be another substantially equivalent incremental upgrade.


  1. I'm actually emailing back and forth with them about some problems I am having.

    I'm curious why the upload feature is so important to you. I make all basal changes and I:C changes directly on the pump?

    For me, I have several complaints with the software:
    - Logbook: I do like that the basal is more readily displayed and I'm ok with the fact that it only puts it in the hour that it starts. I was taught to log that way manually so I'm used to it. BUT, I sometimes get "double" BG readings - if the time on the meter and the time on the pump are different (i.e. I bolus 3 minutes after the reading), then the reading will be in there twice - once for pump and once for meter. It includes these "duplicate" readings in the averages that are now inaccurate so I'm asking them to address that. This is unique to the Ping because of the meter/pump communication.
    - The BG line report. It used to do a 24-hour scatter plot and then put an "average" line so that I could see that at 2am she is going up and 3pm she is going down. Now, they put days across the bottom and you can't see any trends day to day. They acknowledged they made that change and I told them I REALLY disliked that change.
    - I also now have problems with Export. The first few times it was ok, but right now, I'm exporting 2-3 days at a time to send to the CDE and I think that there is so little data that it can't handle it. I've recreated that problem too!

    Just thought I'd share my challenges. I'm getting used to it but REALLY MISS the scatter plot of readings - that was the easiest way to see trends.

  2. I like making changes in the computer where I can see them, check them and enter them with a keyboard.

    The upload matters because I had a problem with one of the old versions not sending setup files up to the pump. It said it did but when I checked the basals there hadn't uploaded.