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User comments / 'sound bites'

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This Web page details various independent user comments about the PC version of AIDA (v4) that have been spontaneously sent by electronic mail by individuals with diabetes, their relatives, and healthcare professionals. All comments respect the confidentiality of the sender. However, various signed comments can also be found on the accompanying User Reviews Web page at this site (and for those that are interested on the Clinical Use and Research Use Web pages).

Please use the menu below to review some of the short 'sound bite' comments.


The user comments / 'sound bites' are structured under general headings of "Information", "Availability", "Use in Practice", and "Potential Use".





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Comments from individuals with diabetes:

Information

From London, UK: "AIDA is an extremely useful blood glucose simulation tool that contains a wealth of information for the user. The large number of example cases with full descriptions should be enough to get the user familiar with how to use the program as well as imparting further, more practical knowledge of how the glucose-insulin reaction works within the body."

From Liberty, South Carolina, USA: "When you are newly diagnosed, and faced with being an insulin user - you are basically baptized by syringe - so much information coming in and so little help in understanding it, especially the different peaks and valleys. Newly diagnosed diabetics need this program desperately."

From Scotts Valley, California, USA: "Thanks for a new and innovative tool to learning more about diabetes management."

From India: "AIDA is really a very unique and useful facility for the education of diabetics like me. It shall help a long way in self monitoring and regulation."

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Availability

From Germany: "I downloaded AIDA and like it. It helps to understand blood glucose reactions after injections and meals. I thank you for all your effort to create this program and to make it available as freeware [software]."

From Poland: "I have gotten the full AIDA program downloaded and operational this morning. Why isn't every hospital all over the world teaching their medical personnel and their diabetic patients about diabetes with this simulator? Thank you for a great weapon in my fight against diabetes."

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Use in Practice

From San Fransisco, California, USA: "AIDA goes far beyond the usual level of feedback by permitting us to collect multiple data and rapidly see the results. As a person who believes that people with diabetes should manage their own disease, this is a great step forward."

A US medical student with diabetes writes: "I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful your software is. There is nothing else like it, and continual usage will hopefully bring me (and many others) understanding of this confusing and frustrating roller coaster of glucose levels in vivo."

From Norwich, UK: "The program is extremely good in its approach. ... I hope that it is possible for you to keep on with the software, it has helped so much in understanding the way diabetes works. I personally know of two midthirties diabetics that have had radical changes for the better to their understanding of their condition from seeing the examples."

From Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: "Being able to iteratively change the insulin and meal regimes, and observe the probable effect on glucose levels is very enlightening. It is interesting to enter one's current regime and see how the glucose profile compares to the actual readings. Finding possible explanations for the difference can give some interesting insights into one's own condition. I think this program can be very beneficial for both patients and doctors for learning about managing diabetes."

From York, UK: "Nice package. I love playing with it. It has been a great help in understanding blood glucose/insulin dynamics."

From Cheshire, UK: "I think that the booklet [hard copy manual] and program do what you had set out to do, i.e. educate."

From Rhode Island, USA: "I am a retired medical scientist and retired professor of pathology at a medical school. I have used AIDA v4.0 to simulate my complex insulin therapy. Your model and approach is convenient, practical and accurate."

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Potential Use

From South Carolina, USA: "I ran your simulation and find it very interesting and educational. ... I am a type 2 diabetic and not on insulin, but rather, oral meds. I wish there was a way you could include oral meds in your simulation... Again, a wonderful program."

From Austin, Texas, USA: "Just discovered this great software. Wondering how it might be used to simulate different dosages of insulin for pump users? ... Since I am going on pump therapy next week, I probably will not use the program too much more, since it is designed for injections. I wonder if the program was modified to accept more than 4 injections if that would make the program useful to pump users? But don't get me wrong, I still think that your program is probably the most useful tool made available to insulin users since the blood glucose meter. I salute you!"

From Surrey, UK: "Overall, I have found the program to be useful. I am waiting for Humalog / Lispro to be added to the available insulins, and then it will be very useful. Even using Actrapid in the model, instead of Humalog, it has alerted me to potential problems (night-time low blood glucose events)."

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While these are clearly interested and self-motivated patients, it is informative to see how positive they are about the AIDA software. However it is equally illuminating to see how relatives of patients with diabetes have found the software, if anything, of even greater use.





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Comments from family members:

Information

A mother: "I have been an active registered nurse for 20 years. I have a 15 year old son who was diagnosed at age 10. I am having a hard time getting him to understand the dynamics of food and the insulins he takes. He tells me he knows everything already and he has nothing to learn. Therefore, I was very excited to discover your program. I feel it gives a very visual explanation of dynamics of diabetes. ... I am finding the scenarios very helpful."

A father from Illinois, USA: "While the model is not that exact, I have learned a lot from looking at the slope of the curves and how high peaks can be from insulin and carbohydrate adjustments. I point the key times of day out to my son. ... AIDA is an excellent tool."

The father of a diabetic teenager: "Thank you for AIDA. I am the father of a 17-year-old type 1 diabetic of 7 years and over time I have found the greatest obstacle in overcoming the problems presented by diabetes is understanding the cause and effect relationship between blood sugar, exercise, food intake, insulin, metabolism, etc. This program helps define these values and gives a diabetic or a caretaker a clearer understanding of the consequences of their actions in coping with this disease."

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Availability

A father from Massachusetts, USA: "I have been looking for a software program like this for a while. Thanks for the site location. ... My daughter is 5 years old and has had diabetes for 1 year this month. I will use this as an educational tool, for me!"

A son of a diabetic mother from Shreveport, Louisiana, USA: "I downloaded AIDA for two reasons -- to provide it to my mother, who is diabetic, and to satisfy my curiosity about the model. (I did some modeling when I was an associate in my university's Department of Physiology). I do not think that my mother has used the program extensively (her diabetes is extremely unstable). I worked with the program some, and am very favorably impressed and think development on it should continue."

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Use in Practice

A father from North Carolina, USA: "I have downloaded AIDA and it now runs on my laptop PC. It is a marvellous educational tool. My daughter is now 16 and has, as many with diabetes, little desire to investigate her disease and its management. Mostly, she wants to be left alone. So she hasn't been very interested in AIDA even though I've shown it to her. However, AIDA was a great tool for me as I was grappling with the vagaries of, for example, the availability of NPH insulin over time. I found it to be very visual and useful."

A son-in-law from Kent, UK: "My original interest in AIDA began because my mother-in-law is an insulin taking diabetic. ... As you would expect, the model did not accurately reflect her actual experience so she found AIDA has limited value to an experienced diabetic such as herself. However, I learned a great deal, which supports your stated aim for this to be a good educational tool. ... The programme is a delight to run. I have found it most instructive to play one of two games with the given case studies - either to achieve as near as possible to a constant blood glucose level with idealised carbohydrate intake and insulin injections, or the opposite, finding out the worst actions a diabetic could take (and therefore must avoid) to the point of coma or worse. The latter may seem sadistic but if you have had to administer first aid to your mother-in-law slipping in to a diabetic coma on a number of occasions as I have, then understanding what can go wrong makes good sense. Please accept my congratulations on an excellent piece of work that I believe will be of help to many thousands of people, both medical and newly diagnosed diabetics in particular."

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Potential Use

The father of a diabetic infant: "My son was born [the] 30th of September, 1998 and diagnosed with neonatal diabetes 2 days after birth. Since then I have scoured the Internet for information on infantile diabetes. Your software program is amazing! I would love to use it as an educational tool for myself. I downloaded version 4.0 but when I created a new case profile, the lowest weight allowable is 30 kg. Is there any way around this? ... I understand your software was not designed for infants. ... Paying attention to your numerous disclaimers, I am not using your software for a plan of care in any way, but would like to tailor it to my son's special case."

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However it is not just patients' relatives who have found the software of use. Healthcare professionals' observations about the software have also been informative.





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Comments from healthcare professionals:

Information

A doctor from Mumbai, India: "AIDA is very impressive as an educational and motivation tool. I have just downloaded the program and look forward to using it as an education tool for GPs and Medical Social Workers."

A doctor from Brazil: "My colleagues that teach endocrine physiology will be interested in using your program as an additional teaching aid."

A biochemist from San Diego, California, USA: "I think it will be good for biochemistry class instruction."

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Availability

A diabetes specialist nurse: "I love what you have done with AIDA! You could distribute AIDA to schools of nursing. I have alerted the professor at my university and plan to share the Web site with my fellow diabetes educators. There are so many uses for it. In particular, while the system is not human, it does allow one to view the possible effects of pharmaceutical changes and diabetes complications."

An endocrinologist from Russia: "Thank you for giving us the opportunity to use your freeware interactive educational diabetes simulator, AIDA. It is very useful for training young endocrinologists in diabetes management."

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Use in Practice

A registered nurse / certified diabetes educator: "Very interesting program, user friendly. ... I could see practical use with clients if we had a PC available for clinic visits or in group presentations. Ideas that patients or practitioners would consider trying could be simulated first to see if it is an option. It looks like a valuable education tool that would supplement problem-based learning such as we use locally for medical students."

A diabetes nurse specialist and family nurse practitioner student: "I have enjoyed AIDA. ... The effect of management interventions as demonstrated by graphics is a very effective tool. I will have to share the program with all my educator friends and faculty."

A nurse from Liverpool, UK: "AIDA seems to rely a lot on carbohydrates and general dietary intake. We are trying to move away from the idea of lines or exchanges. Saying that, I still found it very interesting and even found myself adjusting the insulins to see if we agreed, and we did. I certainly think it is a good introductory tool for both diabetics and carers alike."

A healthcare professional from Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA: "I got on fine yesterday and worked with one of the simulations. It can be addicting!"

A nurse from Seattle, Washington State, USA: "I found this very useful and fun. I will suggest this to patients, students and nurses."

A biochemist from Melbourne, Australia: "The program was a delight to use. I look forward to trying it out on some of our medical students."

A physiologist from San Paulo, Brazil: "Your software was very useful to us. We showed it to many colleagues of other universities and many were interested in it. Its primary use has been to teach blood glucose control mechanisms to undergraduate biomedical students."

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Potential Use

A diabetes nurse specialist: "I am a diabetes nurse specialist and I think AIDA is great! Providers who want to maintain control would not like it (AIDA would be empowering to patients). In this area we have fee-for-service care. Each visit generates more money for the provider ... AIDA would reduce the visits. (How wonderful!) Areas that have managed care instead of fee-for-service could use AIDA. You could contact the large health maintenance organizations (HMOs). They would be happy with more patient control and fewer visits."

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(Reprinted with permission from The Diabetes Educator Journal, Volume 26, Number 4, Pages 633-643 (c) The American Association of Diabetes Educators [AADE])


Further short user comments ('sound bites') about AIDA can be found in PDF (Portable Document Format) by clicking on these links:- Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics article - Medical Science Monitor article


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AIDA Website home Return to AIDA Website Home Page AIDA is a freeware diabetic software simulator program of glucose-insulin action + insulin dose & diet adjustment in diabetes mellitus. It is intended purely for education, self-learning and / or teaching use. It is not meant for individual blood glucose prediction or therapy planning. Caveats

This Web page was last updated on 3rd July, 2001. (c) www.2aida.org, 2000. All rights reserved. Disclaimer. For the AIDA European Website, please click here. For the Diabetes / Insulin Tutorial, please click here.