Not just a diabetes management system, Balance Diabetes Software is a complete health management system. It has excellent diabetes management capability for both inuslin and oral medication users, with all the usual features, such as downloading from meters (AccuCheck, OneTouch, and PQID), graphs and modal days. However, it's most powerful feature is in the area of food management. From its 14,000 item food database, each with complete nutritional information, Balance lets you create your own recipes and calculates the complete nutritional value of each serving. This feature alone makes it well worth it's US$29.95 price. Highly recommended.
The initial setup includes an interview, which asks for various health-related information, such as height, weight, most recent A1c, and exercise. From all of this information, the software provides several risk assessments and health recommendations. The software clearly isn't geared for kids, since it recommended that my nine year old daughter should gain 42 pounds. Based on her height, that would be acceptable for an adult woman, but not for a nine year old.
Slightly better advice was provided regarding the recommended calorie intake, based on age, height, weight and desired weight. This feature will prove useful for adults wishing to manage their weight in addition to their diabetes.
Balance supports eight different users, allowing families with more than one diabetic to maintain separate databases for each. The information for each user can also be password protected.
Ease of Use
Balance is easy to use, but does have some small quirks that take some getting used to. When navigating through the library of information, the forward and back buttons step you through the library file you are viewing, rather than taking you back to the previous screen, as your web browser would. This takes a little getting used to. Overall, however, the product is very easy to use--you probably won't need to open the well-written user's manual.
Balance requires 24 MB of disk space, 12 MB of which is the database. Be sure you have ample disk space available before you install the software. Thankfully, the software is delivered on a CD-ROM. It performs best on fast 486 or Pentium computers.
Balance is the most complete diabetes-related software package I have seen. All software packages provide graphs of blood sugars, most allow downloading of test results from meters. Balance stands out because of its food database and automatic calculation of nutritional value from custom recipes. In the age of carbohydrate counting, this is an exceptionally valuable tool to help you maintain good control.
Windows XP users can download a patch to make Balance PC work at http://www.mangesius.com/Bundle/updates.html.
Opening Screen Shot
Balance PC has been updated to accept reading from the ONE TOUCH Ultra meter, the latest diabetes drugs and medications, and to display readings in either US or metric formats.
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P.O. Box 357358
Gainesville, FL 32635
Voice: (352) 375-3395
Last Updated: Friday April 08, 2005 14:12:26
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