Starting with Tidepool and Blip

Updated 5/19/16


I’m so glad you are interested in using Tidepool to upload your devices and getting on their Blip site to see and share your data.


Tidepool is a leader is developing software to pull all of the data from your multiple devices together in one platform. This is bleeding edge technology that takes some effort and computer skills to work, but once the data is up, you can choose to revel in the data plus you have the option to share your results with Dr. Peters and others. You can work out a schedule for her, or use it when you want to explore your own data. (The Dexcom can hold 30 days of data, so that may also influence your schedule.)


I’ve become a big fan of Tidepool while managing a clinical trial over the past nine months where I’ve been uploading and viewing study participant’s data in Tidepool. The process has become easier overtime, but Tidepool is still beta stage software that requires some work. Even though it takes many steps to make the system work, it is WAY easier than living with type 1 diabetes. You’ll do great making this work. Let me know if I can give you any help.


The recent update is the addition of the Dexcom G5 receiver to the Tidepool system. This means if you want your new Dexcom to work with Tidepool, you still have to use the receiver to collect the data. It is not possible yet to generate a Clarity code to upload your data to Tidepool from the Dexcom cloud.




How to Begin


The first step is to download the Google Chrome web-browser. The parts of the Blip display system and the Tidepool uploader is built on top of the Chrome technology. If you don’t already have Chrome, use this link:


The next step is to sign up for a beta test of Tidepool Blip. You can simply start here: where you can watch a video overview and click the “Get Started” button to begin. There are more detailed instructions if needed as well:


The next step is to go to Tidepool to download drivers for various devices. Here are links for Windows or Mac users.


The next step is to copy this link to the Tidepool uploader into Chrome:


The Tidepool uploader is a Chrome web app similar to the apps on your smart phone. Just click on the “Add to Chrome” button and the Tidepool app will be added.



After being registered, launch the Tidepool app, log in with your email and password (and check the “Remember me” box)….


Then choose the timezone and your devices to upload….



The Dexcom G4/G5 receivers, Tandem pumps and Bayer meters are easy. Just plug them in and hit upload. If it doesn’t work the first time, just unplug your device and plug it back in again. (Dexcom G5 from an iPhone: see below).


OmniPod is a little different. You plug in your PDM and it will mount like a flash drive or external hard drive. Find the device and look for the file ending with .ibf. Select the file and hit upload.


Here are the instructions from Tidepool to upload and other troubleshooting advice.


Medtronic MiniMed pumps first need to be uploaded to the Medtronic Carelink site If you have an account, just sign in and upload and if you don’t, look for the “Sign Up Now” button to create an account. There currently is an incompatibility issue with the latest Mac El Capitan operating system, but there is a trick to make it work. Go into the Safari web browser preferences, look for Advance and on the bottom, check the box next to “Show Develop menu in menu bar.”


Here is the official Medtronic guide on how to upload to Carelink.


I personally use Firefox on a Mac to upload pumps. (Windows users – let me know what works for you.)


The Carelink site uses a Java engine to make the connection and don’t be surprised if you run into warning messages. You may have to go into your browser and allow Java, or you very likely need to update your Java version. If you are not prompted with a link to update, you can go here: Caution: The update will attempt to make Amazon or Yahoo your default search engine. Look for the box and uncheck it before updating.


Once it is all working, sign in and upload your pump. You can also look at some of your reports on the Carelink site, but the goal here is to pull the data into Tidepool Blip.


Now return the Tidepool uploader and use the same Medtronic username and password from Carelink and enter them into the window. This will import the information from the Carelink site into Tidepool.




Tandem T-Slim pumps are easy – just plug-in a Micro-USB – the one that comes with the Dexcom will work and hit upload.


Animas Ping or Vibe pumps use the custom USB-to-infrared cable that may have come with your pump, select the device in the uploader window and hit upload.

         A support article is available on the Tidepool site with more details:


Abbott Precision Xtra meter can be useful for testing blood ketone levels and it can be uploaded to Tidepool. But uploading requires a PC and a special cable while providing little data to patients. This is a lot of work now for little payoff, but it can be done.


If you think you have a reason to upload: Here are the instructions from Tidepool for the download and other troubleshooting advice.


Dexcom G5 from an iPhone using Blip Notes


Blip can now collect your Dexcom data straight from your iPhone. To activate this feature, follow these steps:



1 Connect your Dexcom App to Health


a. For G5 users, open the Dexcom G5 app. In Settings, turn the connection to “Health” On. Also turn on sharing Blood Glucose.


2 From your iPhone, get the latest Blip Notes app from the App Store (version 1.1 or higher)




b. For Share2 users, select Account, then Health, then Enable.




3  You will then see an Apple Health screen. Allow Dexcom to write Blood Glucose data.


4  Open Blip Notes and login with your Tidepool account.


5  In Settings, turn on "Connect to Health".


6  You will then get an Apple Health screen. Toggle the switch on to allow Blip Notes to read data. Then, select “Allow”.



Then, you can login to Blip from your computer at and see your Dexcom data in Blip’s Daily View. Please note that Dexcom data from Health is delayed by 3 hours.



Remember Blip? This is the Tidepool website where you can view your data and share it with others.


After you have uploaded all of the devices you wish to upload, you can then click “Go to Blip” to view your data. If you go to an already open Blip page, you must click to refresh the data for it to load.


If Chrome is your default browser, after you are finished uploading hit the button the read “Go to Blip”. Or go to the Blip sign-in page and reenter your email and password to finally view and share you data.





Finally Data!


This is your opportunity to geek-out and swim in all of your data from your devices, or simply take the short cut to share your data with your favorite doctor, friend or family member.


Sharing your Blip data is possible and family members can be connected to upload devices as well. This is great for people with diabetes who travel a great deal and want to stay in touch with their doctor, live in another town or what to consult about an unusual event such as a sick day.


Here are the instructions from Tidepool on inviting others to view your data:


Viewing Data is really the great feature of Tidepool Blip. The initial screen is the Basics view where you can get a great scorecard about your time in in the target 80-180 mg/dl range as well as how often you test your blood glucose. There are also great insights on your pump use including your basal/bolus ratio, infusion site changes and how you give basal and bolus doses.


The Prize

Daily View is the reason you put in all the hard work to upload your data - at last it is possible to see all you data in the same place on one screen! This is where you can see your pump, Dexcom and meter data plotted together. No longer will you or your doctor flip through separate printout pages while holding them to the light to try to make the data align.


On top you can see your Dexcom (or Enlite) tracings as a continuous line and (with luck) your blood glucose meter readings will be displayed as dots on top of the CGM line. The green color represents readings in the 80-180 mg/dl range, higher numbers are colored purple and lows are in orange.


Below is your pump data where you have a visual of your changing basal rate though out the day and even temporary basal rates and suspends. Bolus data is also displayed with the amount of carbs (in yellow) when entered as well as the type of bolus. In the example below you can see a normal bolus shown with the vertical blue line and extended bolus deliveries (the vertical line and extended horizontal arm).




It also gives your stats for the day including your basal/bolus ration average BG and time in target. (I’ve even seen the rare PWD have a perfect 100% time with-in target range).


Here is more from Tidepool on the daily view and how to see your pump (device) settings:


In Conclusion

My study participants’ love looking at their data during their visits and they are gaining insights on how to use the more advanced features on their pump, or how their last exercise adjustment worked.


Congratulations for making this far. I hope it was worth the effort and if you appreciate the service and want to support the development, you can donate or go to their homepage to learn more about their mission and other products.


While you are there look at the product page and explore Blip Notes, a note-taking app for your smartphone and Nutshell, an app to crack the code on how to dose for common meals.



Let me know how it works for you and if you have any suggestions for improvements.