Scott Hanselman

SweetSpot - Web-Based Diabetes Management and ClickOnce

March 21, 2007 Comment on this post [13] Posted in Diabetes
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Here's a little teaser for those of you who are diabetic or who have diabetic family members. I've been chatting with a friend about his Rails-based venture, so I took a few hours this weekend and we got this working, round-trip and for real.

Here's a few choice keywords for you as a tease...ClickOnce, Mac Client also, any Glucose Meter (pluggable), Team-based Management of what's important to diabetics. Coming soon. Spread the word to your diabetic friends.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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March 21, 2007 20:08
Scott, my curiosity is officially piqued. I have two questions that I hope won't give too much away:

1) Can you define: "what's important to diabetics?" What's most important to me as a non-insulin-dependant Type 2 is to know is my average daily high bG periods, so I know when to really watch my carbs, but to an extent, I get that with my existing management software (or even my meter by itself, since the OneTouch Ultrasmart has built-in graphing). But I would imagine that you, as a Type 1 with a pump, have a different definition of what's important.

2) I'm guessing the .DM top-level domain, in this case, is supposed to stand for Diabetes Mellitus? Or is your friend actually based in Dominica? :)
March 21, 2007 23:14
Hi Cam,
I might be able to answer your questions as I'm the friend Scott was referring to in his post. ;)

.dm is a play on Diabetes Mellitus and diabetes monitoring. dotCom was already taken, so I had to be a little creative.

As for what is important to people with Diabetes, I know Scott will give you a slightly different answer than I will because we approach it from different experiences. I view diabetes as being a disease that affects the community, not just the individual. My father has had Type-1 for almost 30 years and is just sick of managing it, and has been for about 25 years. It is his family, very close friends, and a few co-workers who help him handle diabetes on a daily basis.

Cam, I know I didn't address your question, but I wanted to give you a hint as to my motivation and perspective. I wish I could talk more about how plays into this, but the site is still being actively developed and we are still going through rapid iterations of the design and functionality.

I appreciated your comment, and if you would like to chat about this in more detail, I would love to talk with you.

March 22, 2007 0:13
Thank you, Adam. While not a direct answer, I think I have a better idea of where you're coming from. I can't wait to see what you're cooking up.

I submitted my email address on your site (I'd love to be a beta tester), and if you'd like to have any additional infomation, you can reach me pretty easily via my blog (linked in my signature).
March 22, 2007 2:19
OK, so you said:

ClickOnce, Mac Client also

Is this "click once and mac client" or "click once" as well as a "mac client" (seperate apps)

Enquiring minds - and new mac-owning .NET dev's - wanna know :)
March 22, 2007 2:35
Heh, sorry, that's ClickOnce. Full Stop. And MacClient, Almost ClickOnce. Full Stop.
March 22, 2007 6:51
My biggest pet-peeve with ClickOnce is that IE must be the DEFAULT browser to work. So I always have to go to the control panel, switch from FireFox to IE, install, then switch back to FireFox. It's one thing that I have to do this, but I also have to explain this to my users. Have you found a work-around? Microsoft said they were going to fix this back in the beta days, but never got around to it.

March 22, 2007 20:22
Hey Tony,
we actually got it to work fairly well with firefox last evening. Here is our flow:

* mac? prestash user authentication info, package and send
* windows?
* if you have .net clr >= 2.0, redirect to the location of the ClickOnce.application
* if not, redirect user to a requirements page where they can download the info and then launch the app (they will only have to do this once)
* if you don't have .net clr _and_ you are running firefox, send to the requirements page, but also ask the user to install the FireFox ClickOnce extension. We take advantage of the fact that FireFox does not put the .net clr versions in the user_agent, but this extension does. So if the .net clr is there, they have the extension, and if it is not, they probably don't. (you can turn off the user_agent append in the extension, but it is on by default).

I did this logic on the server side because it is simple (10 lines) and clean; finding the FireFox extensions installed requires a good chunk of javascript.

Overall the solution is not 'perfect', but it works and is _fairly_ seamless.

March 28, 2007 20:36
You want to work together? I need help with the client. I have a new release I am working on right now. Hope to hear from you,
Owner and creator of
April 05, 2007 8:04
While not a programmer myself, I am a longtime fan of technology. Also, being a type 1 for the last 14 years, this has me pretty excited. A melding of web 2.0 and diabetes = genius.

Anyhow, I am a Mac user and was wondering if you guys needed help testing any of this shindig, in which case I'd be more than willing to help. I have a OneTouch UltraSmart and my cable I used to use with my PC.

I also have a fairly large and active Diabetes group on Myspace (3000+) that I might be able to coerce a pportion of into helping out. Let me know if I can be of any help.
April 05, 2007 20:32
This sounds very interesting. I'll certainly check it out.

I keep trying to push my idea of standards for glucose meters (see the abstract of my recent article).

If standards already existed, this software should work with far more devices.

Type 1 diabetes for 34+ years. Insulin pump and Dexcom CGM (as of 2 weeks ago). I've got the software and cable for downloading from my Ultra and Ultra Smart meters. I'm waiting for the Dexcom software.

Anyway, I'm a windows person. Doing UI development in various technologies. If you're looking for a tester, I'll volunteer.
April 10, 2007 0:43
This looks fantastic.

I was all set to build something like this myself (background in PHP/MysQL/XHTML) when I found this post.

I've been a prolific tester on other Web 2.0-type applications before, so if you'd like a tester who will break everything at least once and give you waay too much feedback, I'm it.

Let me know!
May 07, 2007 15:48
Hey Guys,

I just wanted to say this looks like some really great work, especially being Rails based. I can't wait for further development and keep a look out for updates. Keep up the good work!

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.