8 Replies Latest reply on Sep 12, 2013 1:21 AM by jmw

    Importing (capturing) data from glucose meter



      Importing (capturing) data from glucose meter


           I measure my blood glucose thrice daily using an Ultrasmart meter. Every so often, I import those measurements into a Filemaker 12 database on my iMac so that I have a complete history with charts to show my doctor.  

      But the import process is nasty, involving Parallels 8, a proprietary Windows program and USB cable, importing and then exporting the measurements as a csv file, opening that file in Excel and reformatting the dates, and then importing the resulting data into Filemaker. 

           I'm no expert on data capture, but surely there is a simpler way to download those readings into Filemaker directly from the meter without all the tedious intermediary Parallels/Windows/Excel steps. Does anyone have any experience bringing data into FileMaker directly from an attached device, such as a meter, sensor, etc.? How can I set up Filemaker to download the measurements and automatically format them? Is it feasible? Is it even possible?



        • 1. Re: Importing (capturing) data from glucose meter

               I know of at least one way, but last time I checked it wasn't cheap. Check out the Troi web site for FileMaker plug ins. There's one that you can use to directly read data from a device connected to your computer via USB.

               Another poster shared a link to a site that may offer a less expensive alternative if it can be adapted to your needs: http://www.billproduction.com/billscalebalance/

          • 2. Re: Importing (capturing) data from glucose meter

                 You might try this site


                 They make pluggins  for FMP and have (or had the last time I called) good (at least pre-sale) phone support .

            • 3. Re: Importing (capturing) data from glucose meter


                   Checked out all three options, but they're either quite expensive (as in "Yikes!") or Windows-only (I'm on an iMac). I was really hoping for something built into FileMaker 12 Pro or Pro Advanced. Guess not, so I'll just continue with the current process.


              • 4. Re: Importing (capturing) data from glucose meter

                     As I understand it, the UltraSmart communicates using a serial COM port, either directly or using a USB-to-serial cable. FileMaker does not support that by default, but has the option to do so by using a plugin, as the others already mentioned. This will allow you to connect to the device, but then you will need to know how the communication between the computer and the UltraSmart is done. In other words, what commands do you need to send, in what way, how to interpret the data you get from the device. Either you or the one doing the plugin-programming needs to know this software protocol. I had a quick look at the website and would not be surprised if that is not disclosed in the manuals or otherwise. 

                     Having said that; it is possible to have FileMaker interface to a COM port on a Mac, I have done so for a couple of different devices using a plugin I wrote myself. So if you can get hold of the software protocol from the UltraSmart, there might be a way to get things working. Is the protocol explained in the manuals? Otherwise, maybe if you contact them and explain your situation, that you have already purchased the software and everything? 

                     Anyway, just a thought.

                • 5. Re: Importing (capturing) data from glucose meter

                       Interesting idea, and pretty much what I was hoping to hear.  No, the protocol is not covered in the manual, but thinking that others with similar needs would have already asked J&J, I  googled it in various ways but came up with nothing. I'll try going direct to customer service.


                  • 6. Re: Importing (capturing) data from glucose meter

                         You're welcome.

                         I googled as well and did find something: http://www.diabetesforums.com/forum/diabuddies/12411-onetouch-ultrasmart-communication-via.html

                         It is quite a lengthy series of posts and I have not examined it in detail, but it might be worth checking out. It seems they do have something pulled together.

                    • 7. Re: Importing (capturing) data from glucose meter

                           My, oh, my, look what I found:

                           http://www.onetouch.com/software_kit  (click "Get Software")

                           This appears to be the protocol I've been looking for. Haven't had time to look it over, but it could be the first step in developing a system for importing meter readings directly into FileMaker. 

                           Those folk on the diabetesforums.com site (thanks for the link!) seem to have taken this many steps forward towards a working solution on the Macintosh. Yes, the thread is VERY long and VERY technical, but a few of the posters seem to be working in the same direction I am. I know nothing of python, however, so this is going to be a long learning process. But if I can eliminate Parallels and Windows XP from the import process and make it a click-one-button-in-FileMaker process, I'll be very, very happy!

                      • 8. Re: Importing (capturing) data from glucose meter

                             It does look promising, yes. However I did not see the UltraSmart mentioned, so I am curious to see if the protocol is the same. I also saw the Python file and had a quick look, it seems like the combination might be what you're looking for: the Python file seems to indicate that the UltraSmart uses a baud rate of 38400 whereas the documents all mention 9600, suggesting they are for different models. But the commands seem similar if not identical, so testing on 38400 using DM? or DM@ should give you a result. 

                             If you can get something out of your meter using HyperTerminal on Windows (or f.e. CoolTerm or similar on the Mac) you will have several options on how to proceed to get it into FM. Promising indeed, have fun experimenting! Keep us informed, please.