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Back To School With Diabetes: Part 1

Today we’re thrilled to feature a guest post from Dr. Asheesh Dewan, a pediatric endocrinologist from Las Vegas, Nevada. Dr. Dewan has worked with several parents and school administrators and nurses in the Las Vegas area to implement CareLink Personal Software in more than 50 schools to better monitor students with diabetes throughout the day and improve communication between families, physicians and school nurses. Thank you Dr. Dewan for all you do for the diabetes community!

As summer winds down, our thoughts change from sunscreen towards school, where our children will spend about one third of each weekday. For parents and healthcare providers of children with diabetes, the time in school where they are supervised is actually a black hole of information. To get an organized and clear picture of a child’s blood sugar trends during this time is not always a smooth process and can take a tremendous amount of effort.

In Las Vegas, we worked with the Las Vegas School District and JDRF to implement CareLink in more than 50 schools to better manage glucose levels and improve communication between parent, physician and the school. If you’re not already familiar with CareLink, it’s free software from Medtronic and allows information to be securely uploaded to the internet and accessible to those given permission. In addition to capturing pump and CGM information, it compiles data from multiple meters into a single “logbook”, is compatible with most major meter brands and works with Mac and PC computers (in the U.S.).

We’ve been successful as the schools’ nursing staff can now work with parents and physicians to track students’ glucose levels and identify trends during the school day.
If you are a parent interested in getting CareLink implemented in your child’s school district, here are a few tips to help you through the process.

What You May Need:

1. Permission from nursing supervisor for the school district. (Your school nurse can give you his/her contact information.)

2. If on a Medtronic pump – a CareLink hub for the school to download the pump.

3. If not on a Medtronic pump, then download cables for your meter.

4. Sharing login and password information with school nurse and physician.

Potential Roadblocks (And Solutions):

1. School IT Department: One reply you might get from the district is that they cannot install CareLink software onto the district computers. It may be helpful to remind them that no installation is needed. This is a Web-based application and no software needs to be installed, so there’s no need for any lengthy review (which they might bring up). In my experience, CareLink is compliant with most district software policies and is ready to be used immediately.

2. District Legal Department: They may have the same objection as the IT department, and the response is the same. The software is on the internet and protected through Medtronic privacy policies.

3. No Download Cables for Meters: Each meter manufacturer has their own software to download the meters into the computer. To achieve this, they have cables or ports. These can be purchased from the meter companies, or you can have your healthcare provider request one from the manufacturer.

4. Not on Medtronic pump: This is not an issue. While the information from a non-Medtronic pump or CGM and its settings and information cannot be relayed over CareLink, you can upload the meter as a non-pumper would. This will relay the blood glucose readings you entered into that meter.

5. Only have 1 CareLink hub at home: You will need a CareLink hub at school in order to be able to upload. However, only one hub is needed no matter how many students. So, if other students are using Medtronic pumps, parents, nurses, and physicians have options to coordinate and share costs.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we’ll talk about the next step – maximizing CareLink in school to help improve your child’s diabetes management.


CareLink® Therapy Management Software for Diabetes is intended to be used together with advice from a healthcare professional familiar with the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. Do not make any changes to treatment without talking to a healthcare professional first. Please visit http://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/importantsafetyinformation [1] for complete details.