iPhone 4S, Siri and Diabetes

Having plodded along with my iPhone 3G for a lot longer than I should have, I was waiting for the next incarnation of the iPhone. Getting one on release day posed no problem, with some clever thinking about where to go. There were no queues and just a bit of Telstra provisioning wait time (hundreds of others all over Australia also trying to set up new iPhones with Telstra, one of the big telcos here).

After playing with it for 24 hours, I totally love it! I’ve been having some fun with Siri tonight, asking her (it’s a ‘her’ in Australia) to do all sorts of things.

Siri is an ‘assistant’ of sorts. You speak to your iPhone and tell her what you want. A note? Call someone? A reminder? Some info? An internet search? Someone’s address? Dictation instead of typing? And a whole lot more! You speak in normal language.

Here’s an interesting list of things you can ask Siri.

Some iPhone 4S screen photos of my interactions with Siri…

Carb Counting with Siri

Information is provided via Wolfram Alpha, and other sources.

HbA1C information request

A fictitious note was fun to make. I can’t measure my A1c (no home testing kits in Australia), and I doubt it will ever be 4.6, but that’s what I told Siri to write and she got it right first time!

Siri take a note (totally fictitious of course!)

The note is time-stamped and synced with iCloud. It’s then downloaded to all my Mac computers and devices, so if I’m in the doctors office, for example, with my iPad and not my phone, the note will be there too.

Siri is still learning my voice, my accent and certain words that I will regularly use. I was surprised she got “HbA1C”.

So far, I’ve dictated several SMSs, an eMail and a Facebook reply and the words she got wrong were far less than expected. Sometimes she git everything right!. It gets better every time I use it. She knows what I mean when I say, “Remind me to call my daughter tomorrow afternoon,” and will set a reminder for me. I only had to say daughter and a name one time and Siri asked if I wanted to always associate that contact as my daughter. Cute and amazing!

I can think of so many uses for this technology. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve been driving and needed to write something down, or I think of something and I’m fumbling around for a pen and notepad so I won’t forget. The carb counting is easy and fantastic – no more flipping through books or scrolling through hundreds of food items on an app! I even asked it for nutritional info for a BigMac and the answer was there in seconds.

You can ask Siri to do calculations. Let’s say your insulin to carb ratio is 1:8. You’ve asked for a carb count for that BigMac. Siri comes back with 45 grams. Then you ask Siri, “What’s 45 divided by 8?” She answers with 5.625. Round it and you’ve got how many units of insulin to take!

Siri functionality still has some limitations in Australia – there’s no map interaction, traffic or business lookups (only USA), but apparently that’s coming in 2012. I totally love this technology!

Animas Insulin Pump

I've had an Animas Insulin Pump since June 2009. I absolutely love my pump and I love the wonderful people at Animas (AMSL Australia).

If you are even remotely thinking of getting an insulin pump, please feel free to contact me and ask me why I love mine and what a huge difference it's made to my life.

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