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CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED
 This application is a Continuation of application Ser. No. 09/237,194, filed on Jan. 26, 1999, which is a Continuation of application Ser. No. 08/481,925, filed on Jun. 7, 1995, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,899,855, issued May 4, 1999, which is a FWC of application Ser. No. 08/233,397, filed on Apr. 26, 1994, now abandoned, which is a Continuation of application Ser. No. 07/977,323, filed on Nov. 11, 1992, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,307,263, issued on Apr. 26,1994. This application is also related to U.S. Pat. No. 6,168,563 which is a Continuation-In-Part of the above-referenced U.S. Pat. No. 5,899,855, and a Continuation-In-Part of U.S. Pat. No. 5,997,476, which claims the priority to Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/041,746, filed Mar. 28, 1997 and Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/041,751, filed Mar. 28, 1997. This application is also related to U.S. Pat. No. 5,897,493, which also claims priority to Provisional Application Nos. 60/041,751 and 60/041,746 both filed Mar. 28, 1997. This application is also related to application Ser. No. 10/233,296, filed on Aug. 30, 2002; application Ser. No. 09/665,242, filed on Mar. 28, 1997; application Ser. No. 10/319,427, filed Dec. 12, 2002; application Ser. No. 09/713,922, filed on Nov. 15, 2000; application Ser. No. 10/605,223, filed Sep. 16,2003; application Ser. No. 10/605, 226, filed Sep. 16, 2003; application Ser. No. 10/605,228; application Ser. No. 10/605,229, filed Sep. 16, 2003; and application Ser. No. 10/605,547, filed Oct. 7, 2003, all of which claim priority from application Ser. No. 09/237,194
BACKGROUND OF INVENTION
 Controlling or curing conditions of ill health generally involves both establishing a therapeutic program and monitoring the progress of the afflicted person. Based on that progress, decisions can be made as to altering therapy to achieve a cure or maintain the affliction or condition at a controlled level. Successfully treating certain health conditions calls for rather frequent monitoring and a relatively high degree of patient participation. For example, in order to establish and maintain a regimen for successful diabetes care, a diabetic should monitor his or her blood glucose level and record that information along with the date and time at which the monitoring took place. Since diet, exercise, and medication all affect blood glucose levels, a diabetic often must record data relating to those items of information along with blood glucose level so that the diabetic may more closely monitor his or her condition and, in addition, can provide information of value to the healthcare provider in determining both progress of the patient and detecting any need to change the patient's therapy program.
 Advances in the field of electronics over the past several years have brought about significant changes in medical diagnostic and monitoring equipment, including arrangements for self-care monitoring of various chronic conditions. With respect to the control and monitoring of diabetes, relatively inexpensive and relatively easy-to-use blood glucose monitoring systems have become available that provide reliable information that allows a diabetic and his or her healthcare professional to establish, monitor and adjust a treatment plan (diet, exercise, and medication). More specifically, microprocessor-based blood glucose
monitoring systems are being marketed which sense the glucose level of a blood sample that is applied to a reagentimpregnated region of a test strip that is inserted in the glucose monitor. When the monitoring sequence is complete, the blood glucose level is displayed by, for example, a liquid crystal display (LCD) unit.
 Typically, currently available self-care blood glucose monitoring units include a calendar/clock circuit and a memory circuit that allows a number of blood glucose test results to be stored along with the date and time at which the monitoring occurred. The stored test results (blood glucose level and associated time and date) can be sequentially recalled for review by the blood glucose monitor user or a health professional by sequentially actuating a push button or other control provided on the monitor. In some commercially available devices, the average of the blood glucose results that are stored in the monitor (or the average of the results for a predetermined period of time, e.g., fourteen days) also is displayed during the recall sequence. Further, some self-care blood glucose monitors allow the user to tag the test result with an "event code" that can be used to organize the test results into categories. For example, a user might use a specific event code to identify test results obtained at particular times of the day, a different event code to identify a blood glucose reading obtained after a period of exercise, two additional event codes to identify blood glucose readings taken during hypoglycemia symptoms and hyperglycemia symptoms, etc. When event codes are provided and used, the event code typically is displayed with each recalled blood glucose test result.
 Microprocessor-based blood glucose monitoring systems have advantages other than the capability of obtaining reliable blood glucose test results and storing a number of the results for later recall and review. By using low power microprocessor and memory circuits and powering the units with small, high capacity batteries (e.g., a single alkaline battery), extremely compact and light designs have been achieved that allow taking the blood glucose monitoring system to work, school, or anywhere else the user might go with people encountered by the user not becoming aware of the monitoring system. In addition, most microprocessorbased self-care blood glucose monitoring systems have a memory capacity that allows the system to be programmed by the manufacturer so that the monitor displays a sequence of instructions during any necessary calibration or system tests and during the blood glucose test sequence itself. In addition, the system monitors various system conditions during a blood glucose test (e.g., whether a test strip is properly inserted in the monitor and whether a sufficient amount of blood has been applied to the reagent impregnated portion of the strip) and if an error is detected generates an appropriate display (e.g., "retest"). A data port may be provided that allows test results stored in the memory of the microprocessor-based blood glucose monitoring system to be transferred to a data port (e.g., RS-232 connection) of a personal computer or other such device for subsequent analysis.
 Microprocessor-based blood glucose monitoring systems are a significant advance over previously available self-care systems such as those requiring a diabetic to apply a blood sample to reagent activated portions of a test strip; wipe the blood sample from the test strip after a predetermined period of time; and, after a second predetermined
period of time, determine blood glucose level by comparing the color of the reagent activated regions of the test strip with a color chart supplied by the test strip manufacturer. Despite what has been achieved, numerous drawbacks and disadvantages still exist. For example, establishing and maintaining diabetic healthcare often requires the diabetic to record additional data pertaining to medication, food intake, and exercise. However, the event codes of currently available microprocessor blood glucose monitoring systems provide only limited capability for tagging and tracking blood glucose test results according to food intake and other relevant factors. For example, the event codes of currently available monitoring systems only allow the user to classify stored blood glucose readings in a manner that indicates blood glucose tests taken immediately after a heavy, light or normal meal. This method of recording information not only requires subjective judgment by the system user, but will not suffice in a situation in which successfully controlling the user's diabetes requires the recording and tracking of relatively accurate information relating to food intake, exercise, or medication (e.g., insulin dosage). An otherwise significant advantage of currently available blood glucose monitoring systems is lost when blood glucose test results must be recorded and tracked with quantitative information relating to medication, food intake, or exercise. Specifically, the system user must record the required information along with a time and date tagged blood glucose test result by, for example, writing the information in a log book.
 The use of event codes to establish subcategories of blood glucose test results has an additional disadvantage or drawback. In particular, although alphanumeric display devices are typically used in currently available microprocessor-based blood glucose monitoring systems, the display units are limited to a single line of information having on the order of six characters. Moreover, since the systems include no provision for the user to enter alphanumeric information, any event codes that are used must be indicated on the display in a generic manner, e.g., displayed as "EVENT 1", EVENT 2" etc. This limitation makes the system more difficult to use because the diabetic must either memorize his or her assignment of event codes or maintain a list that defines the event codes. The limited amount of data that can be displayed at any one time presents additional drawbacks and disadvantages. First, instructions and diagnostics that are displayed to the user when calibrating the system and using the system to obtain a blood glucose reading must be displayed a line at a time and in many cases, the information must be displayed in a cryptic manner.
 The above-discussed display limitations and other aspects of currently available blood glucose monitoring systems is disadvantageous in yet another way. Little statistical information can be made available to the user. For example, in diabetic healthcare maintenance, changes or fluctuations that occur in blood glucose levels during a day, a week, or longer period can provide valuable information to a diabetic and/or his or her healthcare professional. As previously mentioned, currently available systems do not allow associating blood glucose test results with attendant quantitative information relating to medication, food intake, or other factors such as exercise that affect a person's blood glucose level at any particular point in time. Thus, currently available blood glucose monitoring systems have little or no capability for the generating and display of trend informa
tion that may be of significant value to a diabetic or the diabetic's healthcare professional.
 Some currently available blood glucose monitoring systems provide a data port that can be interconnected with and transfer data to a personal computer (e.g., via an RS-232 connection). With such a system and a suitable programmed computer, the user can generate and display trend information or other data that may be useful in administering his or her treatment plan. Moreover, in such systems, data also can be transferred from the blood glucose monitoring system to a healthcare professional's computer either directly or remotely by telephone if both the blood glucose monitoring system (or computer) to which the data has been downloaded and the healthcare professional's computer are equipped with modems. Although such a data transfer provision allows a healthcare professional to analyze blood glucose data collected by a diabetic, this aspect of currently available blood glucose monitoring systems has not found widespread application. First, the downloading and subsequent analysis feature can only be used by system users that have ready access to a computer that is programmed with appropriate software and, in addition, have both the knowledge required to use the software (and the inclination to do so). This same problem exists with respect to data transfer to (and subsequent analysis by) a healthcare professional. Moreover, various manufacturers of systems that currently provide a data transfer feature do not use the same data format. Therefore, if a healthcare professional wishes to analyze data supplied by a number of different blood glucose monitoring systems, he or she must possess software for each of the systems and must learn to conduct the desired analyses with each software system.
 The above-discussed disadvantages and drawbacks of microprocessor-based self-care health monitoring systems take on even greater significance with respect to children afflicted with diabetes, asthma and other chronic illnesses. In particular, a child's need for medication and other therapy changes as the child grows. Current microprocessor-based self-care health monitoring systems generally do not provide information that is timely and complete enough for a healthcare professional to recognize and avert problems before relatively severe symptoms develop. Too often, a need for a change in medication and/or other changes in therapeutic regimen is not detected until the child's condition worsens to the point that emergency room care is required.
 Further, currently available microprocessor-based health monitoring systems have not been designed with children in mind. As previously mentioned, such devices are not configured for sufficient ease of use in situations in which it is desirable or necessary to record and track quantitative information that affects the physical condition of the system user (e.g., medication dosage administered by a diabetic and food intake). Children above the age at which they are generally capable of obtaining blood samples and administering insulin or other medication generally can learn to use at least the basic blood glucose monitoring features of currently available microprocessor-based blood glucose monitoring systems. However, the currently available monitoring systems provide nothing in the way of motivation for a child to use the device and, in addition, include little or nothing that educates the child about his or her condition or treatment progress.