Friday, May 05, 2006

What the World Needs Now is Accurate Data

Patient Reported Data - true, false or somewhere in between?

I just ran across this great stash of information from a presentation entitled, "Smart Pumps And Tomorrow’s Intelligent Devices", (warning - 10Mb download but worth it) given by the esteemed John Walsh from July, 2005. In his presentation, John cites a study (1. JB McGill et al: Diabetes 54 (Suppl 1) poster 2035-PO, 2005):

In a study1 that compared logbook entries to meter downloads:

* • One of every seven entries was not recorded because it was high

* • One of every seven entries was made up

* • No difference was found between adolescents and adults in the entry of fictitious and missing data

* Time and date settings in meters are often incorrectly set. This causes patterns of high or low readings to be associated with the wrong time of day. Insulin adjustments made on faulty timing can worsen control rather than improve it.

(Back to me blogging)...It's so obvious isn't it that all of this talk about medical data is still, in this day and age, mostly talk? I stumbled across part of this problem back in 2001 when we first started using a glucose meter. Magically, the time on the meter would change. Come to find out, that's a fairly common occurrence for all current generation glucose meters and probably for all medical devices in general. Other causes include never setting the meter's clock in the first place, daylight savings adjustments, and who knows what else. Come to think of it, I still don't think I have ever set the clock on a VCR. Then we worked with patients in our first studies and found out how frequently numbers were transposed/ommitted/forged, etc...

Our patent pending BioTimeSync(tm) feature has solved the clock accuracy problem around timestamps and our 'always-on' data collection technique has solved most of the issues around inaccurate values. I say most because there are teenagers who use these meters and give a teen a medical device and you can bet they'll find a way to beat the system. I will not divulge those 101 ways to fool your parents here however.

Those little gems are best left unpublished!