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Dexing my libre - blucon nightrider

Discussion in 'Blood Glucose Monitoring' started by Scott-C, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    There's a new toy out for the libre. It's called a blucon nightrider from www.ambrosiasys.com

    I got mine on Saturday. Pretty impressed with it. It's an nfc reader which sits on top of the sensor and then bluetooths results every five minutes to a phone.

    The graph is useless. For some reason they've set the scale from 0 to 60, so even a bumpy day looks flat (although some people might like that!).

    But the history option is really good. You can get a real sense of shifting levels from it, seeing numbers for every five minutes.

    It's been reading closer to my meter than the libre reader.

    It's not waterproof but it's easy enough to stick it on with a bit of tape or armband and take off for showers. It doesn't need to be restarted or anything, just put back on. Wouldn't want to risk a waterproof plaster, because the height of it might not let the plaster sit comfortably but might try it, or just a plastic bag. It just seems to be the battery cover and on off hole which aren't waterproof, so taping those up might be an option.

    There's a waterproof version, Trans Am, but only lasts two weeks and is very expensive, whereas the Nightrider is a one-off cost of £107, and import tax of £25, and then you just change the battery.

    Anyway, getting results bluetoothed to my phone is neat enough, but what's more interesting is that they say that they'll be introducing low and high alerts, but they're not saying when. I doubt it's a software issue, maybe more that if you've got alerts it's turning it into a medical device so will need certification, but just speculating on this.

    So, if they eventually get it to alert, that'll sort out the only thing missing from libre.

    Couple of pics to give an idea of size and what the history tab looks like.

    20170612_191508.jpg
    Screenshot_2017-06-11-13-57-19.png
     
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  2. Tasha_Wilkinson

    Tasha_Wilkinson Type 1 · Member

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    Can I ask does this work with all phones?? Or is it only for android?
     
  3. Tasha_Wilkinson

    Tasha_Wilkinson Type 1 · Member

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    Can I also ask about sticking it on with tape? Does it seem very bulky when stuck on top? Also what tape did you use to stick it on?
     
  4. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi, Tasha, before I answer those questions I need to say that I was getting brilliant results from it, very close to meter, for the first two days, but for the last two days, they've been totally out, normally about half what the meter is, or more. It was telling me that I was at 1.39 at one point, when meter said 4! Although, curiously, it is a fair bit closer today: last bg test was 7, blucon read 5.83.

    So, while I was initially very enthusiastic about it for the first two days, I'm now really dubious about it. Maybe I've just got a ratty sensor, so it's maybe just bad luck. I'll try it again on the last four days of my next sensor and see if that works out better. It's only been on the market for a few weeks, so there's maybe a few teething problems to be ironed out. I was getting duff readings from the libre reader too, which suggests it is a duff sensor. Whether blucon caused that, or the sensor would have been duff anyway, I don't know.

    I've done some posts about it here:
    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/threads/life-with-libre.118450/page-11#post-1485916

    Anyway, re your questions:

    I'm kind of old fashioned when it comes to phones and amn't really up to speed on different operating systems. But if you look at their facebook page at the link below, there's a post 9 June mentioning both android and ios so it looks like it'll work on apple phones. I went to google play and downloaded the app LinkBluCon so have a look for that. If your phone has bluetooth, it should work.

    https://m.facebook.com/ambrosiasys/?locale2=en_GB

    Tape can be any sort of surgical tape. I've got it on with a 10 by 11 cm Molnlycke Mepore plaster at the moment.

    It's not bulky. The pic above makes it look bigger than it is. You'd notice it a bit if you had a tight jumper on, but it's really only a bit more than twice the height of the libre sensor.
     
  5. Tasha_Wilkinson

    Tasha_Wilkinson Type 1 · Member

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    Thanks so much for all the information!! I'll look into it a bit more before I buy but for something that has an endless life (asides from batteries that need changing) it might be worth investing in and retrying with multiple sensors as for me the price doesn't seem too bad.
     
  6. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Just a small update, Tasha. After the initial frustration of it reading really well for the first two days then rubbish for two days after that, I decided to give it another go and it has worked fine for about four days on the same sensor that I thought was dodgy.

    There's been a few bugfix updates for the app Linkblucon on google play, now up to v2.1.6, so maybe that's got something to do with it, ironing out teething problems.

    I'm getting quite fond of it: just glancing at my phone makes scanning seems so passe!
     
  7. rouhiju

    rouhiju Type 1 · Newbie

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    I just received my Blucon NightRider device.
    I had little trouble with getting it running.
    I had to press quite long (few secs) with a toothpick into a hole to boot it.

    App has no alarm for low blood sugar level, it just shows graphically GCM figures.
    I had to change iPhone language to english before it showed the graph.
    My wild guess is that app uses dot "." as decimal mark and my language (finnish ie. Finland) uses comma "," as decimal mark.

    The app seems to be in early stage, because lot of buttons in user interface send message "coming soon" or do not function at all.
    App version for iPhone is 0.2 (it is in early stage).

    However got it running on my iPhone.
    Readings are quite similar compared with FreeStyle Libre reader when sugar level is close to normal level.
    When sugar level rises the Blucon shows 1-2 mmol/L less than Libre reader.
    During hypoglycemia Blucon shows around 0,5 mmol/L more than Libre reader.

    This is just my first impression.
    I am eagerly waiting for further releases of Blucon app.
     
  8. jrussell88

    jrussell88 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The BlueCon website suggests that their device merely pushes BG readings from the Libre to your phone. Is there any reason to suppose it's changing them?
     
  9. barrym

    barrym LADA · Well-Known Member

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    As I understand it, the app picks up raw data and interprets that to a BAG equivalent. Each app will or can use a different algorithm hence end up with different BG estimate.
     
  10. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @jrussell88 and @barrym , Barry, you're right, it picks up raw data and the algo in the app linkblucon is different so it often reports different levels to a reader scan.

    I've used it a bit more now so am getting to grips with it's quirks. In some respects, it's actually more useful than the reader. For example, the other day, I was sliding down from 6 to just under 4, after a bit of a lunch bolus miscalc, had taken some sugar to tweak it back up but in the minutes before that got to work, I could see from linkblucon that I was going down through 5 to 4, but the predictive algo in the reader had over reacted and was telling me I was at 2.3! Which I wasn't, bg meter had me at 3.9. Linkblucon was way closer to the meter reading. It doesn't really bother with predictions which is good because the reader's predictions are sometimes too aggressive/cautious. Give me the raw data, man, I want to make my own mind up!

    I'm getting quite fond of it now. There's been a couple of bug fix updates which seem to have fixed the randomness I had over the two days I mentioned previously.

    I'm keeping the box it came in. In ten years time, I'll hopefully be ablecto sell it for a fortune on e-bay as a rare artefact from the early days of cgm, like those guys who've got vintage toy cars in their original boxes!
     
  11. Tasha_Wilkinson

    Tasha_Wilkinson Type 1 · Member

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    Hi there! Recently my mum found this on a website because they said they were launching something in the next month or so, maybe their finalised iPhone app? I was wondering if you were still using the bluecon and if so, how it's going?
     
  12. Westley

    Westley Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @Scott-C - I completely agree about the Libre's own predictive algorithm overdoing it sometimes, massively exaggerating rising highs or falling lows.
    I have both Glimp and LibreLink on my phone, and after a while of comparing the graphs from the two, it is clear that the official app does a lot of smoothing and extrapolation that actually loses valuable information. When I've corrected a low and am waiting to see whether it has changed direction, it will often keep showing a downward arrow for quite a while after I can see on Glimp the curve has started to turn upwards. Same thing with waiting to see when a correction dose has turned around a rising sugar.
    I pretty much only use Glimp these days for this reason.

    Thanks for posting about this BluCon thing - I'd been hoping for something like this for a while (though mainly for the alerts while sleeping. I guess as you say, that will hopefully come in time)
     
  13. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi, Tasha, I just use the blucon once in a while now. I guess the novelty of getting results pushed to my phone wore off! I might use it more if they ever get around to introducing alerts. There's some talk of steps being taken to make it work with xdrip+ which might be interesting.

    The bit your mum saw about them launching something next month might be their Caregiver app which apparently allows results to be sent to several phones.

    The main app is already available for iphones.
     
  14. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Cheers, @Westley , I haven't used glimp as I'd heard some horror stories about it killing sensors, but might have a look at it.

    Wirh blucon, there's apparently some discussions going on between them and the nightscout/xdrip people about making them work with each other. The blucon app is very basic, so if they can get xdrip to work with it, that'd be interesting - alerts, calibration, and, let's face it, a cooler graph...
     
  15. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Just a note to say that xdrip+ has now been updated so that it will collect data from blucon, which means that you can calibrate and get hypo and hyper alerts and all the other stuff which xdrip+ does.

    Have only been using it for a few hours now so will have to wait and see how it pans out.

    Still, not too bad, if you don't want to get or use dexcom all the time, or just fancy having alerts now and then, say, after a night out on the town, it's just a one-off cost for the blucon transmitter of about £100, pop it on top of libre as and when you want to and run it through xdrip+ - hey presto, alerts!
     
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  16. Westley

    Westley Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Great news! Just ordered myself a Blucon after seeing this. Interested to hear more about how you get on with it.
     
  17. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Most entertaining feature so far is the text to speech function! My phone has been sitting on the sideboard all evening and every 5 minutes, it just tells me "6.5" or whatever. Hey, who needs the hassle of picking the phone up and looking at it!

    The predictive function is neat. Sure, libre tells you when you're dropping, but this will include on the graph text like "low predicted in 23 minutes" and a graph line estimating where it might be in 23 minutes. And then it updates as each 5 minutes passes, and then change it's mind if the prediction or an intervention doesn't pan out as planned.

    Calibration is good too. Sure, libre is factory calibrated, but we all know in practice it kinda needs calibrated in our heads. I like being to do the occasional bg test to bring it in line as is done with dexcom.

    There's about half a million setting options, so I think I'll probably just park myself in the pub at the weekend and work my way through them all!
     
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  18. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It's been working brilliantly with xDrip+. Provided I calibrate once in a while, most readings are astonishingly close to meter, about 0.1 to 0.3 out.

    Also got it running on a smartwatch, a Fossil Q Explorist, so now I don't even need to bother taking my phone out!

    Here's what it looks like on the watch:

    screen.png
     
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  19. Westley

    Westley Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Scott,

    I was really looking forward to trying mine, but it has been almost a month since I ordered, and it still hasn't shown up.
    I last emailed AmbrosiaSys 11 days ago asking about it and they haven't responded.
    So not too impressed with their customer service so far...
     
  20. nahog

    nahog Type 1 · Newbie

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    Hi Westley, have you received your BluCon? I'm also waiting for mine, just for a couple of weeks now. But I want to have an idea of how long it will take. Thanks.
     
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