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A Small Revolution in Diabetes Management

My name is Ian Gillespie and I am a late onset type 1 diabetic who has lived with the condition for the last 30 years. Initially I was treated with a sulphonyurea but within one year it was clear that my BGL control was deteriorating and I asked to be put onto insulin. I have been on almost all of the available insulins over the years and have generally had reasonable control. However, I have experienced severe hypos resulting in ambulance trips to the hospital, and more frequently, hypers. It has always puzzled me why I could get two completely different BGL results on two different days despite apparently doing everything the same.

I enrolled in the DAFNE program run by the Queensland Diabetes Centre in Brisbane and found that to be one of the most useful and enlightening courses I have done. I realised just how different every diabetic is and how much tailoring has to be done to get the best result for each individual.

During a trip to the UK in 2009, I meet up with an old friend, Bruce Alport who is a software engineer. We got talking about the challenges of living with diabetes, particularly the many and varied calculations that have to done every day. What emerged was the idea for a smartphone application that would remove the complexity of dose calculation and provide a tool for managing and monitoring blood glucose.

RapidCalc is the result of our collaboration. I have been using it since its earliest development versions in April 2010 and can honestly say that I have never had such good control. I have totally avoided any moderate or severe hypos and maintained an HbA1c of under 6.5%. My family are delighted with its impact on all our lives.

During the development of Rapidcalc we worked with several diabetes educators who provided valuable ideas and feedback. I would like, in particular, to acknowledge the role played by Brigid Knight (Mater Health Services, Brisbane Australia) for her encouragement, ideas, objective and practical feedback and her critical evaluation as RapidCalc has developed.

I hope RapidCalc helps you as much as it has helped me.