My final class at ITP in the Spring was called Printing Code, a graphics design and coding class. For my final project, I took several months of CGM blood sugar data and visualized it in a new way. At that time, I was doing a fair amount of business development work on Databetes. With this project, I was interested in doing something purely for aesthetics, so I went off on this artistic tangent. As a result, I produced these two posters.
October 2012 CGM readings
July 2012 CGM readings
Each displays a month’s worth of blood sugar readings from my Dexcom 7 continuous glucose monitor, which generates a blood sugar reading every 5 minutes. The top of the circle marks midnight. Moving around the circle, time moves clockwise with the morning readings along the right. Noon is at the bottom of the circle, followed by the afternoon and evening readings.
A core element of this visualization is seeing the readings radially instead of the traditional linear approach. I also wanted to try a new approach to categorizing the readings. A normal view of blood sugars look this:
Readings are either In-Range (often categorized as 80-120 mg/dL), High or Low. This time, I had only two categories. I split the difference of In-Range readings at 100 and presented them as either above or below this threshold.
I then converted them to the radial view.
I then stacked all the day views from the month on top of each other with a light opacity. The darker the readings, the more often the readings are in that value range. Outlier days where I have an usual spike in readings can be seen faintly. The poster with the black background from October 2012 shows that I had a few more bad days than I did in July.
I coded these in Processing using the Geomerative library. Big thanks to my teacher Rude Madsen for his help getting things working.
I’ve recently completed my most recent data visualization called Insulin on Board. I looked at 100 days of blood sugar and insulin data to see whether a low-carb diet was effective in keeping my blood sugars in range. To see a PDF of the final version, click here: http://bit.ly/KRTCzP
To learn more about the project, I have another blog post here detailing how and why I made it @ http://bit.ly/Jca8tX
This project was included in the show at NYU’s ITP where I recently completed my first year of grad school. It was also featured on the Flowing Data blog @ http://bit.ly/KR2Tf2
This is a data visualization I produced during the Fall 2011 term at ITP. I used 7729 readings from my Dexcom 7 CGM (continuous glucose monitor) from November, 2011. I created it using Processing, then generated a PDF showing the entire month’s readings on top and additional PDFs for every individual day of the month below. The circle spans the respective time frames starting at the top (12:00), progressing clockwise one turn. The blue represents in-range readings (80-140 mg/dL). The gray represents low blood sugar readings (79-40 mg/dL) and the outside white contains all the high blood sugars readings above 140 mg/dL.
Happy New Year, everyone! I am starting this blog to document a new, year-long project related to Databetes, the company I have founded. Throughout the year, I am recording all my diabetes-related data in an effort to improve my type-1 diabetes control. This includes every blood sugar reading, medication dosage, exercise statistic and A1c blood test. I will also record nutritional information for every meal, snack and (non-water) beverage. I’ll also be adding photographs, geolocation data and other information from my mobile phone.