Some tips from IDS Clinician Alicia Downs to keep your diabetes tech up-to-date and running great!
A quick reminder to anyone who uses diabetes tech on their smartphone. DISABLE automatic updates!
App developers have to work step behind operating system releases. This means that after an operating system update there is often a period of time where apps may stop working, or work incorrectly. We have seen the Glooko, Tconnect, Dexcom, Loop and other apps stop working entirely or have glitches that cause the user to have to redownload the app for days or even weeks following an operating system update. Since Apple does the most frequent operating system updates it is more common with this system than android devices.
A good practice is to keep your ear to the ground for the apps you use and wait until you hear the general all-clear (or at least the quieting of rage-filled screams) that indicates that the apps are working properly again. 2-3 weeks is typically enough time to pass for app designers to catch up with their own updates.
I also recommend reading over the update features for app updates to decide if you actually want the updates before updating apps. Again waiting a few weeks to see that all the bugs are shaken out of an app before updating is a good idea.
An additional word of warning and advocacy: NOT ALL APP UPDATES REQUIRE MANUAL APPROVAL!
We recently saw Dexcom roll out an update that many users HATED and it happened in the (literal) dark of night with no warning to users or approval required. Likewise, the Omnipod 5 app will update with no notice to users. We find this INTOLERABLE and encourage our diabetes community to share their upset with companies who maintain this practice.
This technology holds our lives in its hands and we deserve to know exactly what features are changing, what fixes are needed, and full transparency on how these devices are changing and how they could impact our blood sugar management. This is not only our right as users to have autonomy over our bodies, but a needed safety check as “industry” seems oblivious to our real-world needs.
Alicia’s diverse nursing career has given her experience with a broad range of clients and a variety of health conditions in addition to diabetes. One of her passions is advocating for the needs of her patients, whether it be in overcoming insurance restrictions, obtaining community resources, or coordinating with school systems and medical providers.