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Interview with Tidepool Community Manager Christopher Snider

Tidepool Logo

I recently reached out to Tidepool Community Manager, Christopher Snider, and asked a few questions about who Tidepool is and what is on the horizon. Check out the answers below.

1. In a Twitter 140, well now 280, way, tell us who Tidepool is.

(I’ll stick to 140) Tidepool is a nonprofit company focused on delivering great, free software that integrates data from various devices into a single location.

2. Now give us a little more in depth in to what Tidepool is.

2a. When did it start?

Tidepool started in 2013. Next spring will be our 5-year anniversary after receiving articles of incorporation as “Green Dot Diabetes”

2b. Why was it created?

In 2011, Howard Look’s daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Soon after his daughter’s diagnosis, he learned that despite the incredible technology that was available to help manage his daughter’s diabetes, getting the information off of those devices to help understand the data behind the diabetes was incredibly frustrating. Software, where available, had various compatibility issues with different operating systems, user experience was not friendly to people with diabetes or their families, and there was no way to see all of the data in one place. Being a software geek, Howard sought to create the solution he felt the diabetes community deserved.

That solution is Tidepool.

2c. How?

Howard’s experience in software development at Pixar, Amazon, and TiVo were a great foundation for understanding what had to happen. Then it was just a matter of building an initial team of advisors, assembling a Board of Directors, securing financial support through donations and grants from groups like JDRF, the Helmsley Charitable Trust, and private donors.

2d. Who created it?

Founders of GreenDot Diabetes in 2012 were: Saleh Adi, Steve McCanne, Jenise Wong and Aaron Neinstein. Howard joined in March 2013. Then, Howard hired the initial team (Sarah, Ian, Ben, Kent, Brandon, Jamie, Jana, Nico) over the course of the rest of 2013. You can see the current team, advisors, and Board of Directors at tidepool.org/team.

2e. Who is Tidepool for?

Tidepool is for anyone interested in seeing diabetes data in a new light. Specifically, Tidepool is free for people living with diabetes and their caregivers to see and learn from their CGM, insulin pump, and meter data. Diabetes clinicians, including endocrinologists, nurse practitioners, CDEs, family physicians, and anyone else who helps their patients manage their diabetes. Separately, we provide data management services to researchers looking to conduct a clinical study that requires data from diabetes devices. Lastly, we are making data that has been anonymously donated by our users to the Tidepool Big Data Donation Project available to groups looking to perform analysis and innovation on a large scale.

3. Can you explain what the Tidepool Big Data Donation Project is?

The Tidepool Big Data Donation Project is an initiative to propel diabetes research and innovation. Tidepool users are offered the opportunity to opt-in to participate, and in doing so, the data they upload is de-identified and placed in a big data “bucket” that we are able to license to interested parties. When you think about the amount of information coming out of a CGM or insulin pump every 5 minutes, then multiply that by, in some cases, years of continuous data. There’s a lot of potential for some really smart people to use that data to answer big questions and iterate upon innovation and opportunity in digital health, pharmaceutical, and academic settings.

We just launched this project a few months ago, so it’s still too early to say what will come of all this data. But transparency is at the core of what we do as an open source project and as new groups sign up to license data sets, we will keep the Tidepool and broader diabetes community informed.

We recently published the first blog post in an ongoing series that will look at insights we can learn from the donated data. The first one looks at CGM data: https://tidepool.org/lets-talk-about-donated-data/

4. How can people sign up?

Anyone looking to start using Tidepool can go to https://tidepool.org/signup to create their free account. Follow the registration instructions, download the Tidepool Uploader (see a list of devices compatible with Tidepool at https://tidepool.org/devices) and you’re on your way to setting your diabetes data free!

 

 

5. What’s next for Tidepool?

The funny thing about this question is all of our work is open to the public. Our code is open source , our Design and In Progress Trello Boards detail what we’re working on, but if you’d like to skip to the good parts, in the next 6 months we’ll be working on (in no particular order):

  • Adding support for the FreeStyle Libre
  • Adding support for Medtronic 6-series pumps
  • Updating our Android app
  • Working with Dexcom’s Developer APIs
  • Adding support for more blood glucose meters
  • And a bunch of behind the scenes improvements that hardcore Tidepool users will most certainly appreciate.

While this is all happening, we’re also participating in the FDA’s Digital Health Software Pre-certification Pilot program to help create guidance for future digital health applications. Considering the other names on the FDA’s list of participating organizations, it’s quite exciting.

We’ll be sharing everything we learn with the diabetes community along the way (more about that here: https://tidepool.org/tidepool-fda-pre-cert-program-iteration/).

6. What excites Tidepool in regards to diabetes tech?

Tidepool was born out of the #WeAreNotWaiting movement. Rather than wait for someone else to develop a software solution to integrate diabetes data in an intuitive interface at no cost to the diabetes community, we are leading the charge. Similarly, we’re humbled by the work being done by the Nightscout, OpenAPS, and Loop communities, and can’t wait to see Bigfoot in the wild.

Seeing the JDRF announce their support for open protocols for automated insulin delivery further cements the tremendous impact that’s being done by some highly motivated members of the diabetes community to move this technology and the entire diabetes industry to a new level of potential.

7. Where can people find Tidepool on the interwebs?

tidepool.org is the first place to go for more information and sign up for a free account. We’re quite active across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram if you’d like to give us a follow.

8. Want to share anything else?

Everything we do is in service of the diabetes community. Most of the Tidepool team is either living with, or caring for someone with type 1 diabetes. As far as the DOC is concerned, your fight is our fight.

If you ever have questions or comments, get in touch!

Send us a Tweet, comment, or email. We want to hear from everyone.

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Two Weeks of Just Bad BG Levels – VLOG

The past two weeks have been horrendous when it comes to my blood sugar. Check out today’s vlog and please subscribe.

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The Vlog with the 400 Blood Sugar

In today’s vlog, the day brought me a blood sugar of 400. Watch to find out how the day went. Just click the image below and please subscribe.

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I’ve Joined the Podcast Movement

This is something that I’ve been thinking about doing for a while, but I didn’t want to have just another health podcast and wanted to do something different. Then, I started using Anchor to listen to other people’s short radio broadcasts.

Well, that’s when I decided, that’s it!

5 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

So, that’s what the podcast is going to be. The name is currently Type 1 Entrepreneur, but I’m thinking of changing it to “Five Minutes with Chris”

What are your thoughts?

Either way, please go subscribe to the podcast on either iTunes or Google Play, just click the image below.

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Went 62 to 398 in a Few Hours – New VLOG

Today’s vlog is up, so please check it out. It’s the first day of Diabetes Awareness Month, my birthday, and a day where my blood sugar went up over 300 within a couple of hours.

Enjoy.

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Spreading Diabetes Awareness with Vlog, Podcast, and Gifts

Today marks the start of another year or Diabetes Awareness Month. The last few years I have not done much during the month of November, because there is so much publicity around this month, that I used it as a break and let others do their thing. Well, I’ve decided to get back into this year.

And go all in.

Vlogging Every Day

First, I will be vlogging every single day in the month of November to bring as much awareness as possible to this disease and what it’s actually like living with it on a daily basis. So, if you are not subscribed yet, please go and subscribe over on YouTube.

 

Podcasting 5 Days a Week

That’s right, along with the vlogging, I will be launching a podcast starting today. This podcast will be 5 minutes, for 5 days a week. Mon-Fri and will launch at approximately 6 PM each weekday. Topics will be based around diabetes but also a focus on my life with diabetes which includes being a father, husband and entrepreneur.

 

because Diabetes

My wife started an Etsy shop earlier this year making custom wine glasses, coffee mugs, whiskey glasses, tumblers, etc. So I thought it would be a great idea to make something for the diabetes community. That’s where these “because Diabetes” glasses come in. Sometimes you just need a glass of wine, whiskey or coffee, simply because Diabetes.

50% of all profits from these glasses will be donated to 1 of 3 diabetes advocacy and insulin causes.

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hint Water

I Gave Up Soda and Juices for hint Water – Sponsored Post

A few months ago I was sitting at the dinner table pouring the remaining diet soda from a 2 liter bottle. I realized that I just opened this 2 liter at lunch time. I thought about how much water I had to drink that day and the answer was easy…. none.

I had a few cups of coffee and a bunch of soda throughout the day, but no water.

It’s no wonder why I felt sluggish all the time. The amount of water I was drinking was extremely low.

My wife would come home with the 12-packs of diet soda, 3 for $10 and they would be gone by the time the next shopping trip came the following week.

I’ve always forced water down just because I knew I needed it. Whether it’s because I am going to the gym and want to be hydrated or I am dealing with a high blood sugar and I need to hydrate and flush my system, I’ve just always had to force the water down.

I can’t remember the last time I thought to myself, “I could really go for a nice ice cold glass of water”.

Just last night I thought to myself, “I could really go for a bowl of ice cream”, but that’s a totally different story!

hint logoThe story of how I came across hint water goes like this. Every Monday I receive the Gary Vaynerchuk Hustler’s Digest and for a while, he was allowing brands to do a giveaway or discount at the bottom of his newsletters. I just so happened to be sitting at the computer at that exact time on a Monday when hint was giving away a free case of water.

I was one of the first 200 or so people to sign up for the free case of water.

I actually won something from a newsletter, sort of.

I’ve tried plenty of different flavored water options. Flavored, soda water, powder mixes, liquid squeezers, everything. And nothing tasted right. So, at first, I was not sure if I was going to even like the hint water, but I figured I’d give a try.

My thoughts on flavored water changed when I tried hint for the first time.

Yes, this is a sponsored post, and yes, I really do drink hint and think that it’s amazing.

I love hint because it tastes natural and real. Because it is.

hint Water Variety PackI’ve been drinking hint for a while now and drinking water is no longer something that I force. I love the taste of the watermelon infused water. It’s not overwhelming to the point that it tastes fake and artificially sweetened.

It actually tastes like water with a hint of strawberry.

Now, I must say that I haven’t fully substituted hint out for all water consumption in general. I still drink a glass of regular water in the morning, before and after the gym (when I actually go) and one at dinner. But, I have replaced soda, juices, and other sparkling water drinks with hint.

When I first tried hint after winning the GaryVee giveaway, I tried their original fruit infused water. I was then able to try their hintfizz water as well. The hintfizz is their version of sparkling water and has some carbonation to it. I like to drink this at dinner time because the carbonation gives it that feeling of drinking a diet soda, but without all the bad that comes along with it.

My wife and I have even started giving our daughter hint water. Her favorite is the watermelon. Which makes total sense hint fizz Water Variety Packsince her favorite fruit to eat is watermelon. She now always asks “daddy, can I have some watermelon water please?”

Of course it’s impossible to say no when she says please…. right?

As I mentioned above and I will repeat it again here, this is a sponsored post, but these are my true feelings about hint. I wouldn’t promote something and share with you if I didn’t use it myself, and also love it myself.

That’s the main reason why I decided to do this sponsored post.

I’ve heard a lot of people with diabetes talk about not drinking enough water because they hate water. Well, this is a perfect reason to not hate water anymore and to increase your intake of water. Most diets that exist today would allow hint to be included in it. For example, hint was just recently accepted into the Whole30 diet.

I still enjoy a diet soda, or two….. Ok 3… when I’m eating out, but when I’m home, it’s all natural infused water.

Just a few facts about hint:

  • Zero diet sweeteners
  • Zero calories
  • Zero preservatives
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Non-GMO
  • All Natural

Some of their flavors include:

  • Raspberry
  • Peach
  • Watermelon
  • Honeydew
  • Blackberry
  • Blood Orange
  • Crisp Apple
  • Pineapple
  • Peppermint
  • Strawberry Kiwi
  • Grapefruit
  • And more

You can check out all of their flavors and products at DrinkHint.com

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