6/14/2021
Diabetes Tech Hacks
Berrie Center Educators Share Top Tips

Consider this article to be an insider’s guide to diabetes technology. Our diabetes educators have compiled a “must know” list of tips about apps, pumps and sensors. Otherwise known as our “tech hacks” – the list below includes small practices related to accessing diabetes data that can make a big difference in your day to day management. 

Experience teaches us it can take time to feel comfortable with a pump or sensor. Not every action or shortcut is obvious from start. Here’s a chance to jump right in and implement important suggestions from the Berrie Center’s team of diabetes educators about uploading and downloading. This advice comes from years of patient feedback and discussions with providers and product-makers. While everything might not apply to your particular situation, read on and see if you can pick up a tip or two! 

Glooko tips:

To begin, we’ll start with Glooko. Glooko is a digital platform for diabetes management that helps people with diabetes communicate with their care teams. Glooko is used to upload information from your Dexcom, from the Omnipod and Omnipod DASH, and from a Tandem pump. If you use one of those devices, you likely already know what Glooko is! If you don’t have a Glooko account, now is a good time to get one. Plus, it’s free. 

Our educators advise that you link your Dexcom account to your Glooko account. To do this, go to "Profile" on the Glooko website, scroll all the way down, and click "Connect Dexcom Account". This makes the reports much quicker and easier for your doctor or diabetes educator to review.

The uploader in the browser of the Glooko website can be a bit glitchy. Always double check after you upload that the data actually made it into Glooko. The best way to do this is to go to "Summary" and see if there is any data from the date you uploaded. Make sure you are looking specifically for pump data (aka boluses) and not blood sugar data (blood sugar data may be coming from your Dexcom app if you linked your Dexcom to your Glooko account).

If you keep having issues with uploading through the internet browser, try downloading the actual Glooko uploader software (free on the Glooko website). That software can be a lot less glitchy and troublesome.

If you download and use the Glooko uploader software, you can also upload Dexcom receivers and blood glucose meters. This helps to give your doctor and educator as much information as possible.

Try using the Glooko app as well! You can manually log things into the Glooko app like carbs you use to treat low blood sugars, or exercise, or what foods you ate. You can even write comments.

The Glooko app is also useful to be able to see if the data you uploaded from your Omnipod PDM actually went through. If it shows Omnipod data from the day you uploaded, then it worked.

Omnipod tips:  

Uploading information from your pump might not always be seamless. For Omnipod, keep this in mind: When you plug the Omnipod DASH PDM into your computer, the PDM screen should change, and you will see a button that says "Export". If it doesn't, then just unplug and replug your PDM into your computer. Be sure to press "Export" before completing the rest of the upload in Glooko.

If you're uploading the Omnipod DASH PDM and you sense it uploaded properly, but there is no new data available in Glooko, try uploading again and make sure you always press "Export" on the PDM before doing the rest of the upload on the website.

If you do not have access to a computer, you can upload the Omnipod PDM to the Glooko app on your smartphone. You just need a special cable to connect your PDM to your phone. This feature does not work on all phones, however. To see if this option works for you, open the Glooko app, go to "Sync", choose your device, and then follow the instructions. If it says you can upload, but you need a cable, it will then tell you which kind of cable you need. You can even order one through the app. If it says you need to upload the device through a computer, then your phone does not support uploading the PDM to the phone.

Dexcom tips:

Check that the username on the Dexcom app is the same username you use to log into Dexcom Clarity to link your account to the Berrie Center.

Keep the Dexcom app open and running in the background of your phone at all times (do not "swipe it up" to close the app).

Look at the "battery optimization" settings for apps in your phone. Make sure that battery use is not optimized for the Dexcom G6 app.

To upload the Dexcom receiver to Dexcom Clarity, you need a full computer or laptop. A "chromebook" or tablet will not work.

If you do not have a computer at home, but you do have a smartphone, some smartphones can upload the Dexcom receiver to the Glooko app with a special cable. You can find out more if you download the Glooko app and go to "Sync" in the top right corner. Details on the app will walk you through how to upload a Dexcom receiver and what kind of cable you need.

Tandem tips:

You must keep the t:connect app open and running in the background of your phone at all times and keep the phone within 20 feet of your pump for the data to upload properly in real time. Some educators recommend opening the app before going to bed, this way it is open for plenty of time. In addition, a good time to charge your device is while you are in shower, this might also be a good time to check the app as well. 

The pump can take a while to upload data to the app if the app has been closed for a long period of time. It's best to have the app open for at least a few hours each day. If the app has not connected to the pump in several weeks or months, it could take a week or longer of the app being open and next to the pump for the pump to upload fully. 

You can check your t:connect account online at https://tconnect.tandemdiabetes.com/ and see if the data from your pump has fully uploaded. Go to "Reports" and look at "Therapy Timeline". If the data is up to date, current data will be visible on the screen. 

While some patients refuse to keep the app open due to battery concerns, Berrie Center educators advise patients to keep the app open at least once a week for 1 -2 days. This allows for data transfer to the cloud. 

It is always best to keep the app open a few days prior to an appointment at the Berrie Center to make sure your visit is productive!  

Medtronic tips:

For 630G/670G: You must have the linking meter (Contour Next Link 2.4) to upload the pump to a computer. If you do not have this meter, call Medtronic customer service to request one (your doctor cannot send a prescription for this meter to your local pharmacy, it must come from Medtronic).

For 770G/780G: If you do not have a smartphone to use the CareLink app, you must have the blue Carelink USB "dongle" to upload the pump to a computer. You must request this by calling Medtronic customer service.

You must email your login information (username and password) to the Berrie Center team so we can link your personal CareLink account to our clinic account. We can also send an invitation to your email for you to link your account to ours if you ask us.

For all apps, don’t forget to set up all of your accounts again when getting a new phone! This transfer doesn’t happen automatically. 

In summary, we are learning new “hacks” all the time and will share them with you on an ongoing basis. 

We know there is a lot to think about and keep track of when it comes to diabetes management. Please keep these tips handy and feel free to reach out to your Berrie Center with additional questions or concerns!