Last year, the DiabetesMine Design Challenge was just getting off the ground but we had some amazing contributions! The winner of the Grand Prize was Ethan Mullis, a 25-year-old graphic and UI designer at Gnoso Inc. who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in eighth grade. His submission was Log for Life, "an online logbook for glucose, medication, carb intake, doctor's instructions and more, that will interface with any cell phone via instant messaging (IM) and in particular with the new iPhone."
Check out his submission video:
Well, more than a year has passed and Ethan as (finally) announced the official out-of-beta launch of Log for Life. Woohoo!
We caught up with Ethan this week to find out a little bit more about Log for Life and how winning this contest effected his project:
"Winning the Diabetes Mine Design Challenge was a big deal for Log for Life, not only because it confirmed that a well designed diabetes logging tool was a good idea, but ... by getting our idea in front of so many passionate people with so many different perspectives, we were able to receive lots of feedback and see where we were doing well and where we needed to improve," Ethan says. "This type of direct feedback is a product developer's dream, and it was encouraging to see so many people respond to our product."
One of the unique aspects of Log for Life, Ethan tells us, is that it doesn't require any glucose meter software. No cable cords whatsoever are required! It still records all the basic elements you'd expect, like glucose levels, carbohydrate intake, medication intake, time spent exercising, etc.
Ethan explains that programs connecting your glucose meter to PC with cables "seems like a really good idea on the surface ... but you have to own a sync cable and download extra software. Then there can be software, hardware or sync issues and this is all even more complicated if you have more than one glucometer. We've tried to just make logging so simple and fast that there is no need for glucometer syncing at all."
How does Log for Life measure up to the other online logging and mobile applications? The truth is I've been insanely busy and haven't had a chance to test out the program myself, so I'll be interested in hearing all of your feedback. What I can tell you is that Ethan and his team have focused on creating a tools that is as simple and easy to use as possible. Simple is good — especially for those of us who find logging to be the bane of our diabetic existence. The website claims you'll be able to log your blood sugar in under 10 seconds!
There are also some limited social capabilities to connect with other users, Ethan explains, although he says that he felt our burgeoning online diabetes community is already doing an amazing job at helping people connect and form support groups.
If you're interested in giving Log for Life a try, a 30-day trial is free, and after that, it's $9 a month, which is comparable to the other online logging websites. The iPhone application comes free with the subscription. Maybe your excuse to finally get an iPhone, if you're not a user yet. (Yes, I admit, I'm a devotee).
To be perfectly frank, I'm not convinced that data logging itself is the Holy Grail of diabetes tools, but for those PWDs who use this functionality and like it, we certainly appreciate any help we can get making it easier, more powerful, and above all, more mobile! Thanks, Ethan, for making this your personal and professional mission.