Glucose Control: It’s all a Game: Everything in life is based on a system of priorities. If your priority is to get a good nights rest then you go to bed earlier than you would if your priority is to watch the late show on television. If your priority is to lose weight then you will stay away from certain foods and try to get more exercise.
If you’re a kid with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes your priorities may center around gaming, but not so much on managing the care of your diabetes. A young person is more likely to know where their hand-held gaming system is than they would if asked about their glucose meter.
Paul Wessel is a parent of Luke – one of those kids who never seemed to be able to keep track of their glucose meter. Wessel worked with the team at Bayer to develop Didget. The glucose testing company will be using the Contour meter in connection with this gaming plug in. This blood glucose meter plugs into a Nintendo Game Boy or DS lite.
The system will first be made available in the UK and should be unveiled in the US soon. The reason Bayer is excited about Didget is that testing and personal glucose management is tied to opening new levels and tools within the games that are linked to the Contour meter. The results are fused to the game itself and players/blood testers can access new areas of “Knock ‘Em Downs World’s Fair video game and Mini Game Arcade.” The Bayer UK website indicates there are two separate levels of play that allow the game potential to grow with the DS user’s vigilance in taking glucose readings and managing their blood sugar.
The Bayer Didget official website offers a list of advances based on individual skill and glucose control.
BASIC MODE (L1)
- Simple testing right from the start. Just insert the test strip and test.
- Fast 5-second test time.
- Small 0.6 ?L blood sample.
- 480 test result memory.
- Large, easy-to-read display.
- Ready to test out of the box.
- No Coding™ technology.
- Auto detection of control solution.
- 14-day average.
- 7-day HI/LO Summary.
ADVANCED MODE (L2)
- The same easy testing as Basic Mode plus advanced, customizable features.
- Advanced Mode supports the need for personalized treatment goals for children.
- Easy personalization of HI/LO blood glucose target range setting.
- HI/LO test result summary shows tests above and below your child’s glucose target level.
- Pre- and post-meal marker helps children quickly identify tests taken before and after eating.
- Selectable post-meal reminder can help children remember to test after meals at a time that works for their routine.
- 7-, 14- and 30-day averages.
While critics may be quick to point out that the Bayer Didget system is not compatible with the Nintendo DSi they fail to understand that many of those kids who enjoy gaming will likely retain their DS Lite or DS unit.
It is also possible that Bayer may develop new technology to allow for the adaptation of the Didget device to work with the new Nintendo technology.
This device really is an ‘outside the box’ idea that will likely appeal to young males who have diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2). It rewards positive control in a way that makes sense to boys who still live at home. Girls may enjoy it too, but the device may prove especially helpful in getting younger males to take their condition at least as seriously as the latest game cartridge.