Disclaimer

BEFORE YOU START: Please note that although I currently volunteer for both the Stroke Association and Age UK, the views expressed in this blog are strictly my own. I am not a spokesperson for either (or, indeed, for any) organisation, and I accept complete responsibility for the views expressed herein. I've tried to use the Glossary to explain any ambiguous terms, but if you think there is anything I've missed, please message me.

Monday, 14 January 2019

International Readers

Side-by-side from my blogging, I am developing a Diabetes Management application. There are basically two different units in use (for glucometer readings) worldwide. This is not exhaustive but the UK, Australia, China use the units mmol/l. Most of the rest of the world uses the units mg/dl, including mainland Europe and the USA.

I'm developing this app, which I want to support both units, so I've read up on both units. But I got to thinking, and my wife confirmed this, that many people, even health professionals, are intimate with the one unit but know nothing about the other.

Starting from basics, both units are used to measure the same thing. This is like miles and kilometers. HBA1C is measuring something different. So there is a relationship between the two units, which is basically:

1 mmol/l = 18 mg/dl

So, to give an example, I've talked about blood sugars of 15 mmol/l in the past (I'm almost half that now!) - this is 270 mg / dl. My current average is 8.9 ± 1.4 mmol/l - I might say more about that in a later post - which is 160 ± 25 mg/dl. So clearly, above that of a non-diabetic, but getting better. As I'm starting to work with this new unit, I'm finding it quite convenient, and in fact I've changed my app to store the numbers, internally, as mg/dl. although, of course, it is just a number. Each number in the database carries with it some crazy-silly precision, so 10 or 200 doesn't make any difference to it.


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