MacInTouch Reader Reports

Mac Marginalization: Health Services

Mar. 4, 2009
Mar. 5, 2009
Mar. 9, 2009
May. 16, 2009
May. 18, 2009
May. 19, 2009
May. 21, 2009
May. 29, 2009
May. 30, 2009
Jun. 1, 2009
Jun. 3, 2009
Aug. 13, 2009
Aug. 14, 2009
Aug. 17, 2009
Oct. 3, 2009
Oct. 5, 2009
Jan. 5, 2010
Jan. 6, 2010
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Feb. 2, 2010
Feb. 3, 2010
Jul. 12, 2010
Jul. 13, 2010
Jul. 14, 2010
Jul. 15, 2010
Jul. 16, 2010
Dec. 21, 2010
Jul. 9, 2012
Jul. 10, 2012
Jul. 24, 2013
Jul. 25, 2013

Newer entries...
Mar. 4, 2009


Chap Harrison

My work requires only my MBP and an Internet connection. I have been spending a lot of time lately at the Alive Hospice in Nashville, TN. There is WiFi here, but as soon as the the IT guy saw my MBP he told me "we don't support Mac".

"What you would tell me if I had a Windows machine?"

"You need to have MS-CHAP, per HIPAA security and privacy regulations. That's the problem with Apples. They don't support MS-CHAP."

Back home, I checked out Wikipedia and found this: "PEAPv0/EAP-MSCHAPv2 is natively supported in Mac OS X 10.3 and above... PEAPv0/EAP-MSCHAPv2 enjoys universal support and is known as the PEAP standard."

By now I'm lost in the acronyms. Can someone shed light on (a) whether my MBP 10.5.6 can talk on that network, and (b) what I really need to ask the IT guy for?

Mar. 5, 2009


Bill Graefe Jr

You'll find PEAP under Sys Prefs> Network> {Airport/etc}> 802.1x> Add {User|System Profile}> Use PEAP (on by default). I expect they can give you a username and password for that and it will work. Worth a try. When you add a profile TTLS and PEAP are on by default. TTLS has a config option of picking what inner authentication is used: MSCHAP v1 or v2 as well as CHAP and PAP. They may want you to set an outer identity but I'm sure the admin will know what they want. PEAP does not give those options.

The Add profile under the plus button gives you the choice of limiting what level of the system gets access. I would imagine User level would be sufficient and more secure.

So, again, you can do it with a Mac.


John VArsik

Looks like PEAP is a method for the initial transmission of
WPA keys. Just ask the IT guy for the WPA password. His
information is out of date.


Jeff Fishbein

Gosh, another ignorant Windows IT person who is too lazy to do his job. We've never seen that before.

I've taken my MBP into several hospitals, have gotten a password and have logged in to their public wireless network, which is separated from the main network. If MS-CHAP is a HIPAA regulation, four different hospitals near me are breaking the law -- but I suspect that is not the case at all.

I suspect the IT guy made that up to shut you up. The only scenario I can see where it would be for real is if you are logging onto the same network that contains patient records, which would be a monumental act of stupidity on the part of the IT staff.

I would talk to an administrator of the hospice, explain that either you are being buffaloed because of your computer choice or you suspect their records are at risk because if the IT configuration, and ask them to conduct a full investigation for the sake of all the patients.


Steven Klein

For Chap Harrison, who asks, "what I really need to ask the IT guy for?"

I suggest asking him for whatever instructions he provides to Windows users.

More than once I've run across IT staff who say their networks aren't Mac compatible, when what they really mean is that they are Mac-ignorant. I tell them, "Just pretend I have a Windows machine, and tell me how to access your network."

(On rare occasions, I find it necessary to lie: "I have Windows XP; how do I access your network.")

Once I have the Windows instructions, it's usually not too difficult to figure out how to make it work on the Mac.


Pedro Gelabert

Mr. Harrison,

You just encountered the typical MS guy that knows nothing about standards or Macs. What he is asking is for PEAP authentication.

This is found under the Network Preference Pane.
On the Network Preference Pane, select Airport. Click on Advance button at the lower right hand of the Airport settings window. Click on 802.1X tab and create a New User Profile by clicking on + and selecting " Add User Profile". Then add the UserName, password and wireless network name. These you need from the IT guy. Check the PEAP box. Click OK to return to the Airport Netwrok Preference Settings. Click Apply. Click the Network Name dropdown, and select Join Other Network... Fill in your user name and password using given by the IT guy and click Join.

We use this in our work to have an authenticated user on the network. MS-CHAP and now known as PEAP is a way to not only log into a wireless network access point, but also be authenticated as an approved user before granting access to the network. In this way, if someone knows the wireless network password, they cannot get into the network. Network access is only allowed to those that succesfully log into the network.


MacInTouch Reader

I have no experience in this. However, I would ask the IT weenie for the network name, an account, and a password. While he was stalling about this, I would download the instructions at
and prepare to follow them. From what I read there, configuration should be a piece of cake.


Mar. 9, 2009


Jonathan Nichols

HIPAA is so completely misunderstood. If he's worried about HIPAA, he shouldn't let any 'foreign' machines AT ALL connect to their network. Many many hospitals now have guest Wifi networks, so he's really just feeding you an uninformed pile of cow pies.

May. 16, 2009


John Faughnan

Physicians are required to complete the American Heart Association's ACLS training at least once every two years.

The training requires a skills pretest which is PC only.

You can provide polite feedback to the AHA on this web page:


Kevin Lepard

John Faughnan is incorrect that physicians are required to do ACLS every two years to be licensed as a physician. ACLS certification lasts for two years and would need to be renewed to continue to be certified, but it is not required for medical licensure. I suppose it could be in some states, but I know it is not in Washington, Oregon, or Michigan (where I am licensed or familiar with the licensing requirement), and I suspect it's not required much of anywhere. It may be required by hospitals' bylaws or rules and regs for some specialties, but not all.

May. 18, 2009


John Faughnan

I was too hasty in my ACLS comment. It's often required by employers and to maintain admitting privileges but it's not required for licensure.

That said, my main point was about Mac marginalization. For most people who do it, ACLS recertification is not an option.

May. 19, 2009


Stavros Karatsoridis

John Faughnan's comment about the ACLS course pre-test not working on the Mac is not entirely correct.

Perhaps the online website version of the ACLS course requires a PC (if true, shame on them), but the offline version does not.

I just took the ACLS recertification two weeks ago and the Student CD that came with the textbook worked just fine with my Mac, under Leopard. The CD contained the required pretest which was a Flash application. No problems running it or taking the test.

In fact, the CD stated compatibility with Mac OS 9.x as well as with Leopard. Copyright date on the CD was 2006.

May. 21, 2009


John Faughnan

The kit we received said the pre-test wouldn't run on a Mac, so I didn't try it. Maybe it would have worked!

I don't recall the copyright date, but since the test was this month I assume it was pretty recent. They change the pretest every year.

May. 29, 2009


John H.

I recently became user of an insulin pump from Medtronic. Along with the box I received was a USB stick with "CareLink" written on the top. In the information that came with it was a picture of the CareLink USB stick in the side of an iBook.

"Oh goodie, it works on a Mac!" I thought.

Sadly, it does not. Their software is web-based and only works via Java through Internet Explorer and ActivX. I wrote the company telling them I'd like a Mac version, only to learn there is none and the software requires a PC with IE 6 or higher.

For those interested, the stick wireless talks to the pump for transferring glucose results to their web-based management software.

The web is supposed to make sharing information easier. I could install it using Parallels with WinXP, but it was a miserable experience.

May. 30, 2009


Chris Mcdonalds

Go with J&J's Animas. They have Mac-compatible apps. I believe they also offer competitive upgrades from your current pump....

Jun. 1, 2009


George McKinlay

On the insulin pump... one the key aspects of what iPhone OS 3.0 release will bring to developers is access to the hardware layer, think bluetooth connectivity to such devices as insulin pumps, scales, blood pressure monitors... Maybe a little wait will pay big dividends!


MacInTouch Reader

I used the iCab browswer to solve the same sort of problem with an online banking registration that insisted Windows and IE6 were required. Using iCab 4.5.0, look in the View menu, Browser Identity, and select which browser you would like websites to think you are using.

Jun. 3, 2009


Jennifer Cluse

More on iCab's ability to baffle the badly educated code people:

Using the same Browser Identity function (mentioned recently by our old friend, Anonymous, and set up in iCab's Prefs, switchable in the View menu) in the spare Identity slot I currently insert "iCab 8.7, Mac OS,".

The current version is at 4.5 beta 77 to registered users, but setting a high version number seems to stop sites complaining, and even my previously snarky bank lets me in with that identity.

This is so that iCab is 'out there' and in their faces. <grin>

<Thinks; time I updated that version number. Mmm, Opera is in the 9's, I'll make it 'iCab 10.5, Mac OS.')

<another, bigger, grin>

Aug. 13, 2009


Ed Stockly

Has anyone come across an application for viewing MRI results called MedView Express? MRI labs provide patients with their images on CD, but it's Windows only. The company offers it's full professional application for the Mac, but it doesn't seem to work on files exported for the PC version. Are Mac users out of luck?

Aug. 14, 2009


Daniel Smith

Ed Stockly asks:

Has anyone come across a Mac application for viewing MRI results?

I used a free application called Madena. I downloaded mine via, but Google tells me it is also available at

I was able to view the images on a CD an MRI tech gave me. I don't know whether Madena is good enough for whatever you need to do; I just wanted to peek at them.

I was unable to view them on a Windows machine because the application on the CD, "Centricity DICOM Viewer," requires "Internet Explorer 5.5 Service Pack 2 or Internet Explorer 6," and all the Windows machines within handy reach had been forcibly upgraded by Microsoft to IE 7, which, apparently, won't do.


Jim Hoyt

Give OsiriX a try. It's fast, free, and works great.

I'm only associated as an impressed user.



John Manning

Regarding the question about MedView Express: it appears to be a viewer for the DICOM image standard. There is an open-source viewer for OS X called OsiriX.


Jason Froikin

I came across an application called Osiris for Mac that allowed me to look at CT Scan images, but I'm not entirely sure if it works with MRI images. Give it a shot, I believe it's at least a free demo, if not totally free.


Arthur Zerbey

Have you given OsiriX a try? It's open-source, free and works by pulling the DICOM data from the study and displaying it. No need for the proprietary viewer that comes with the disks, which is a blessing because most of them are pretty slow.


Evan Mair

As a radiologist, let me express my frustration with MedView Express as well, as the image files on CD's are not stored as industry standard DICOM format. Otherwise, one would be able to import/read them from any other DICOM compatible program, PC or Mac.


Jon Posin

FWIW, I am a diagnostic radiologist dealing with this issue every day. We have endless problems importing outside exams into PACS systems due to incompatibility, even if the outside facility ostensibly burns a CD with DICOM data. In general, imaging equipment creates image files as DICOM data, which is fed into a PACS system. PACS systems manage the DICOM data, which can then be burned onto a CD with some kind of stand-alone viewing app. This is essentially always a Windows app (...I use Macs at home because I want to, and Windows systems at work because I have to...). A couple of suggestions:

1) Download Osirix, a fabulous Mac-based DICOM viewer. It can usually find the DICOM data buried on a Windows CD and then Import it. You can then view it easily.

2) Use Parallels or BootCamp or the like (sometimes I am forced to, as sometimes the DICOM data files are turned into other types of image files (even JPEG)).

3) Graphic Converter can handle DICOM files, but it is not set up as an image viewer.

Good luck.


Steve Seaquist

State of Maryland's pharmacist license online renewal is MSIE only:

Anyone with the IQ to pass organic chemistry without cheating deserves to be treated better by their government than that.

Aug. 17, 2009


Marc Heusser

Marginalization? You must be kidding unless you mean marginalization of Windows. Osirix ( is free (Gnu Public License), and does everything the $100,000 workstation of your favourite Xray, CT, MRI, PET etc does - on your Mac, often better than proprietary solutions. There is no comparable solution under Windows. As it is free, it can be included for patients on every CD done by health services and is in use by many professional radiologists as a USD 3000 better replacement for manufacturer supplied workstations. It has been developed by Antoine Rosset and Joris Heuberger from Switzerland.

From the description:

OsiriX is an image processing software dedicated to DICOM images (".dcm" / ".DCM" extension) produced by imaging equipment (MRI, CT, PET, PET-CT, SPECT-CT, Ultrasounds, ...). It can also read many other file formats: TIFF (8,16, 32 bits), JPEG, PDF, AVI, MPEG and Quicktime. It is fully compliant with the DICOM standard for image comunication and image file formats. OsiriX is able to receive images transferred by DICOM communication protocol from any PACS or imaging modality (STORE SCP, STORE SCU, and Query/Retrieve : MOVE SCU-SCP, FIND SCU-SCP) .

OsiriX has been specifically designed for navigation and visualization of multimodality and multidimensional images: 2D Viewer, 3D Viewer, 4D Viewer (3D series with temporal dimension, for example: Cardiac-CT) and 5D Viewer (3D series with temporal and functional dimensions, for example: Cardiac-PET-CT). The 3D Viewer offers all modern rendering modes: Multiplanar reconstruction (MPR), Surface Rendering, Volume Rendering and Maximum Intensity Projection (MIP). All these modes support 4D data and are able to produce image fusion between two different series (for example: PET-CT).

OsiriX is at the same time a DICOM PACS workstation for imaging and an image processing software for medical research (radiology and nuclear imaging), functional imaging, 3D imaging, confocal microscopy and molecular imaging.

OsiriX is available in 32-bit and 64-bit format. The 64-bit version allows you to load an unlimited number of images, exceeding the 4-GB limit of 32-bit applications. The 64-bit version is also fully optimized for Intel multi-cores processors, offering the best performances for 3D renderings.

OsiriX supports a complete plug-ins architecture that allows you to expand the capabilities of OsiriX for your personal needs! This plug-in architecture gives you access to the powerfull Cocoa framework with an easy object-oriented and dynamic language: Objective-C.

OsiriX project started in 2003 in California, USA. This software is conceived and developed by Dr. Antoine Rosset, with the help of Joris Heuberger, a computer scientist. They currently work in Geneva, Switzerland. Dr Antoine Rosset is a radiologist, specialized in MRI and CT, working in LaTour Hospital.

There is even an iPhone App (not free).


Edouard Kestemont

Osirix is excellent and free. There is also a corresponding commercial iPhone app, I think.


Dana Baggett

Steve Seaquist notes that the State of Maryland's pharmacist license online renewal is MSIE only.

Clicking on the link he provided, I discovered that the licensing authority also offers to license the dead - for a fee.

"Pharmacists who expire after June 30, 2009 will pay $176.00 to renew their license."

Does reincarnation come with it?


James Lockman

Let's not forget about Photoshop, whose Extended flavor (included in the Creative Suite Premium editions) can read and display DICOM files, and can even build 3D contours from the slices.


C. Roberts

In addition to Osiris which has been recommended already, if you have Photoshop CS3 extended, it's a very good DICOM viewer. You get the DICOM file info and the ability to print -- also to adjust the brightness/contrast via Photoshop, or add your own labels if needed.


MacInTouch Reader

Steve Seaquist said:

"Anyone with the IQ to pass organic chemistry without cheating deserves to be treated better by their government than that."

Name a country where intellectuals are treasured nowadays - I'd like to move there!


Dale Hartlieb

Use Graphic Converter by Thorsten Lemke to view DICOM images.

I find it works better than other viewers and you can save the images in a variety of formats.


David Colton

I don't think anyone has mentioned OsiriX has an iPhone application that allows you to view your MRI's on your iPhone. Works great for me. Took a matter of minutes to transfer the CD to my laptop, then put the images on my iPhone.


Ed Stockly

Thanks to everyone who replied.

Before posting my question I had explored the MedView Express (PC only) CD ROM looking for any file I could open with Graphic Explorer or Photoshop and found nothing.

I downloaded and installed OsiriX

Installation was a breeze it worked like a charm.

OsiriX provided a very clear easy to use and flexible interface for viewing the MRI images.

Now if only I knew what I was looking at!


Hank Harken

MacInTouch Reader replied to Steve Seaquist who said:

"Anyone with the IQ to pass organic chemistry without cheating deserves to be treated better by their government than that."

Name a country where intellectuals are treasured nowadays - I'd like to move there!

Off topic, but intellectuals and philosophers are treated like rock stars in France. Germany is probably in second place in the way public thinkers are regarded though I'm open to being persuaded that place belongs Switzerland.



Steve Seaquist

To Dana Baggett:

Good catch ('Pharmacists who expire'). This illustrates the level of mental effort that goes into producing MSIE-only websites.

MacInTouch Reader wrote:

Name a country where intellectuals are treasured nowadays - I'd like to move there!

Uh, how do you feel about Japan?

Oct. 3, 2009


Ed Sikorski

I've a client that is in the Mental Healthcare field and she is only a small, 2-person profession. She has always had Mac and now is forced to consider (VM or other) Windows as companies like Horizon (insurance) are actually arrogant toward the little guy for "Windows-Only". Their insurance claim interface is Active-X only (why not Java?) and this costs time for insurance claims and forms.


Colleen Thompson

Ed Sikorski wrote

"I've a client that is in the Mental Healthcare field and she is only a small, 2-person profession. She has always had Mac and now is forced to consider (VM or other) Windows as companies like Horizon (insurance) are actually arrogant toward the little guy for "Windows-Only". Their insurance claim interface is Active-X only (why not Java?) and this costs time for insurance claims and forms."

We solved the ActiveX requirement for two of my clients with Crossover. Didn't even have to buy Windows. You could test that; Crossover has a 30-day demo.

Oct. 5, 2009


Gregory Tetrault

Ed Sikorski said:

"I've a client that... now is forced to consider (VM or other) Windows as companies like Horizon (insurance) are actually arrogant toward the little guy for "Windows-Only". Their insurance claim interface is Active-X only..."

I ran into this idiocy before when I directed a private lab. In our case, some insurers were using advanced "active" web interfaces that our Windows NT/IE 2 systems couldn't handle. Insurance claims web sites only need to exchange alphanumeric data: no fanciness or glitziness is needed. Our billing people got very frustrated with insurers who thought they were entering advanced web design contests. Their web pages, if they loaded at all, took 2-10 times longer than average. That's more than annoying when you're processing thousands of bills a day.

Most health care billing staff prefer insurers who use plain vanilla web sites. Active X, Flash, and other glitzy technologies add nothing except delays and compatibility hassles.


David Zatz

I have had the same issues with Horizon, it appears that, like the US Copyright Office, they demand Windows Explorer 6 alone. As far as I know the cheapest solutions are indeed Crossover Office or VirtualBox. Microsoft does have a virtual machine for running IE but I'm not sure how you would convert it to a Mac-friendly virtual machine (not needing VirtualPC but running under VirtualBox).


Peter Neame

You might try MacPractice for managing a healthcare office - it does scheduling, general document management billing and electronic prescribing, also with an iPhone interface.

It's quite affordable and while things like billing and prescribing are subscription based, the rates are reasonable considering what you get (a very nice interface!)

I'm not affiliated with MacPractice but am a very happy customer. We moved from a windows-based system a year ago and have no complaints at all. The annual maintenance is quite a bit less than we were paying, also.

We do keep a Windows machine around for some of the more intransigent healthcare sites that still use Active-X, but these seem to be steadily going away, partly because they are so expensive to maintain at the source company.

Jan. 5, 2010


Bob Ball

Trying to re-register my wife into Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan, I was offered date of birth entry through drop-downs for month and date, although to the right of the date entry I was asked for mm/dd/yy. So it didn't work. I tried it on Firefox with the same result. A most helpful BC web site lady registered my wife on the phone. She noted that the date entry is intended for IE, not Safari or Firefox.

But I was preparing to write a letter to the BC CEO when I noticed a statement of "web accessibility compliance," which pledges adherence to:

"W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The public pages on this site meet the criteria for Level A compliance with WCAG guidelines."

So I backed off. Anyone with knowledge of BSBSM? Is this simply a matter of some site technician not knowing what web accessibility compliance really means?

That compliance page really seems to speak right to me:

"By adhering to guidelines for accessible Web design, we acknowledge the diversity of communication methods, available technologies and varied user ability."

Jan. 6, 2010


David Zatz

Our local Blue Cross/Blue Shield (NJ) appears to only work in Explorer 6 (and not very well there, either.) Like some government agencies, they appear to have chosen Seibel. Not much I can say except if you have an Intel Mac, try to get Windows 98 SE, Windows XP, 2000, etc., the older the better, and run IE6 from it using VirtualBox, just for the BC/BS.


MacInTouch Reader

Suspect ActiveX...


Terrence Thompson

and type in the website in question.

I've used the resulting World Wide Web Consortium report info to pressure some websites into reasonable compliance.

Most good sites have just a few glitches listed but if it is long, copy the problem info and e-mail it to whoever heads up the web site.

Ironically, I first tried this with a non-compliant technical standards organization but it worked.

Try for fun. Then try your ISP's site which will probably be horrible.


Scott Aronian

I took a look at the website and it works for me. I believe the wording may be unclear. They want you to use the pop-ups for Month and Day, but to type only the year in the final blank field. Although it does suggest that they are looking for MM/DD/YYYY, the final field is only for YYYY.

I guess I've been using a computer for so long I easily compensate for poor user interfaces.


Robert Rosenberg

W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) apply to being compliant with Section 508 rules (you must be usable by those who are blind, deaf, mobility impaired, etc.). It has nothing to do with following the W3C HTML Standards (ie: Being Browser Neutral).


MacInTouch Reader

W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) deal with ensuring that web sites are accessible to persons with disabilities.

Jan. 7, 2010


MacInTouch Reader

Terrence Thompson wrote:

and type in the website in question.

Thank you for showing me why some websites load up slow. Thumbs up to you.

This message is a rave.

Jan. 8, 2010


Steve Benson

Re the W3 validator: It is worth comparing or even with Is Microsoft really interested in web compatibility? You decide.

Feb. 2, 2010


Joel Moskowitz

I'm a physician admitting to NYU Langone Medical Center. Prior to 2 years ago, dictations were done to which is platform agnostic and works beautifully on the web. Then they switched to Dictaphone. The instruction sheet I was given talked about installing active x for access! When I asked about access from the Mac, I was given a tech help number, which I called. I was told that they don't code for the Mac, period. Obviously coders behind the times!

Now I can only access my dictations when I am physically in the hospital on their very poor Windows software!

Feb. 3, 2010


Bradford C. Riendeau

How did NYU make the decision to use Dictaphone? There is something seriously wrong with the decision making process that results in these kind of choices. Decision making processes in organizations which deal with life threatening situations, such as a hospital cannot be allowed to be part of the problem. Literally, a life may depend on the result of the software mandated. Would a defective catheter be tolerated, or a defibrillator that only worked on right handed patients? I would say the potential for that hospital to have exposure for malpractice or negligence is higher than a hospital that makes more intelligent systems decisions.

Jul. 12, 2010


Rod Allen

Just to let you know that Accu-chek, a subsidiary of the giant Roche pharma corporation, makes data management software for its customers with diabetes who use the company's blood glucose monitoring meters which is Windows-only, and thst according to its FAQs has no intention to create a version for the Mac. I have written to them pointing out that they are disempowering a growing number of their clients, and I suggest other Mac users with diabetes do the same.

Jul. 13, 2010


Pedro Gelabert

I have several friends and family with diabetes and they all have complained of lack of diabetes software to connect Macs with blood glucose meters. Has anyone found one that works with many blood glucose meters. Also what happened to the one Apple demo a year ago that used the iPhone?


MacInTouch Reader

This is hilarious when you consider the connection between Roche and Apple: Art Levinson, who is chairman of Roche subsidiary Genentech and is a member of Roche's board of directors, is also a longtime Apple director. Since I'm going anonymous on this post, I can freely say: don't write to Roche -- write to Art Levinson at Genentech (whose snail-mail address, I believe, is 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080-4918).


Gregory Tetrault

Unfortunately, Roche is not the only health care company that ignores Mac users in regards to blood glucose monitoring software. Abbott, Bayer, Entra Health Systems, LifeScan, Nipro Diagnostics, and Home Diagnostics have no OS X versions of their glucose monitoring software. I could find no personal glucose meters that can directly upload data into an OS X management application. This also is a problem in the commercial laboratory sector: every vendor of professional glucose meters has only a Windows version of its management software.

There are numerous OS X applications that help diabetics monitor their glucose patterns, but all of them require manual entry of glucose blood levels.

We need something equivalent to VueScan that will work with the commonest glucose testing devices that have data transmission capabilities. (If any programmer wants to take on this task, I am available as a medical consultant. I'm a clinical pathologist, and I've overseen glucose testing at three different hospitals.)


MacInTouch Reader

Unfortunately, everyone's correct here! All the referenced companies basically ignore the Mac market. I look for diabetes management software for the Mac every few years or so and have been doing so for MaNy years. I keep seeing the same software (some of it good, but none that will upload meter data to the Mac) being marketed year after year. A shame, since the Mac should have enough market share at this point to stimulate some enterprising individual or company to publish an app that will.


MacInTouch Reader


"This is hilarious when you consider the connection between Roche and Apple: Art Levinson, who is chairman of Roche subsidiary Genentech and is a member of Roche's board of directors, is also a longtime Apple director. Since I'm going anonymous on this post, I can freely say: don't write to Roche -- write to Art Levinson at Genentech"

Genentech is and always has been a Mac-friendly company, or at worst, platform-agnostic.

However, I fail to see what advocating a feedback campaign to an unrelated Roche subsidiary (only recently fully-acquired at that) will do to help when another Roche subsidiary is the one responsible for the products in question?

That's like writing to FileMaker, Inc. to complain about Apple's product management.

Genentech doesn't even operate in the same division as Accu-Check. The former operates in the Pharmaceuticals division, while the latter in the Diagnostics division.

Art Levinson may have recently become a member of both boards due to Genentech's acquisition, but has relinquished his position as CEO as a result.

This suggestion also highlights another common misunderstanding of the function of Boards of Directors -- their intended purpose is as independent overseers of management, not participants in the company's management, daily operations or determinants of specific product policy.

One might argue that Steve Jobs plays exactly that role. He is, however, an exception, and Apple's board is often rightly criticised for being poorly constructed, too closely-aligned and lacking independence. Apple has been able to get away with it, but only because their financial performance has kept shareholders happy in a blissfully unaware manner.

Jul. 14, 2010


Rafael Santana

This Bayer Contour claims to work under Mac OS X 10.5.8
It certainly looks very good...


MacInTouch Reader

I would love to have a way to download my meter to a tab or csv file for import or even directly to my iPad.

I recently participated in a limited time research study using a platform independent program where you hooked up your blood glucose meter to a phone line modem device and could transmit data and later review it through your web browser. Data was also available to my Doctor as soon as it was transmitted.

This worked fine on my Mac G5 with the browser interface. I believe you have to be enrolled in the program through your health care provider and have a regular phone line for their modem.

Meanwhile, I have been using Blood Glucose Monitor BGluMon from the App Store on my iPad. My doctor liked the interface, but I've yet to figure out how to export data to email to her office. And ... the manual input apps only work as long as you remember to input the data.


MacInTouch Reader

Here in the UK, and I am sure elsewhere, Bayer have Launched a new meter: Contour USB.
The software supplied is written in Java, thus can be used on any platform with Java 1.6.0_0.7 or higher.

Here it retails at £25 for the meter with software to control the meter plus Glucofacts Management Software. Contact at


Gus Boyle

[Re: diabetes discussion]:

Currently Bayer market a meter called Contour USB which is written in Java and thus is compatible with all platforms that run the free Java 1.6.0_0.7 from Sun Microsystems. (Mac, Solaris, Linux and probably Windows).
Here in the UK available from
Includes Meter Software plus Glucofacts de luxe Management Software and extras.

Someone has been listening!

Jul. 15, 2010


Adam Newman

As a practicing doc, I could swear that when iPhone first came out one of the things that was advertised was that parents could get some kind of "push"-like notification every time their kids checked their sugars. That way the parents could make sure all was well. I thought that was one of the best examples of using technology and medicine.

Am I having a brain-fart? Seems ironic to say the least that one of the advertised perks of the iPhone hasn't taken off with developers...


Gregory Tetrault

MacInTouch Reader said:

Here in the UK, and I am sure elsewhere, Bayer have Launched a new meter: Contour USB.
The software supplied is written in Java, thus can be used on any platform with Java 1.6.0_0.7 or higher....

Here's my saga of finding, downloading, and trying unsuccessfully to run Bayer's diabetes monitoring software.

Bayer's web site designers apparently don't know that their latest software has an OS X version. Their main site about diabetes monitoring never mentions the Macintosh or OS X. Here are info snippets from that site:

... Bayer's GLUCOFACTS Deluxe software offers you a simple solution to your blood glucose tracking needs!...

Key Features of GLUCOFACTS Deluxe:

* The database allows you to store data on your PC and manage the data.... [no mention of OS X]


Bayer's WinGLUCOFACTS diabetes management software is a helpful tool for tracking your progress.... [Older version only for Windows]


Bayer's WinGLUCOFACTS Pro diabetes management software is a helpful tool healthcare professionals can use for tracking blood sugar progress with their patients....

Operating system: Windows 95, 98, NT 4.0 or ME... [The Pro software is ancient.]

The GLUCOFACTS Deluxe software section of the web page has no links. The GLUCOFACTS Express software section has a chain of links that eventually display a page where you register to download the GLUCOFACTS Deluxe software, but that page says nothing about operating system compatibility. After registering (required, and it rejects forms that do not use a valid residential address), you are sent to a page that asks if you use a Windows or Macintosh computer. After scrolling past the license agreement, there is a button for downloading the software (a 17 MB zip file). The mpkg installer put /Bayer HealthCare/GLUCOFACTS Deluxe/ folders into the Application folder. I launched GLUCOFACTS Deluxe which quit instantly without providing an error message. GLUCOFACTS Deluxe's Get Info window has a Rosetta check box, but checking Rosetta did not help: the application still did not open. Bayer's documentation states:

"This application works with Java software, and will verify your version of Java. If needed, you will be directed to update your Java version at the Java website."

That did not happen. I confirmed that I have the latest Java version (JavaForMacOSX10.6Update2 5/18/10). Bayer's application is said to be compatible with OS X 10.5.7 and Intel 64-bit processors, but it does not work under 10.6.4 on my one-year-old Mac Pro. An uninstaller is included in the GLUCOFACTS Deluxe folder. I am happy to report that it completely removed all files and folders.

The situation is pathetic: The only Macintosh-compatible software for uploading glucose results works only on late versions of Leopard. A well-written Java-based application for Leopard should run on Snow Leopard without modifications. Snow Leopard has been out for a year, so Bayer has had plenty of time to fix its software. That it hasn't done so shows how little Bayer cares about its Macintosh-using customers.


Mark Leebove

I use the Bayer Contour meter and purchased the cable needed to connect it to my Mac. The software will not run on Snow Leopard. I have written Bayer and asked when it will be updated but they have not responded in over three months.


Bob Carpenter

Re: Bayer Contour USB

I actually own this meter. I was thrilled when I saw that it had Mac compatible software. I was far less thrilled when I found out at 10.5.8 meant that 10.6 wasn't supported. I tried to install the version 2.0.5 software under 10.6 and it crashed.

I wrote Bayer to ask when Snow Leopard would be supported. I wasn't surprised when I didn't get a response. I was more disappointed when no update was forthcoming.

Finally, the May 2010 update (2.0.7) does work with Snow Leopard. Unfortunately, Bayer still hasn't updated their system requirements to say that 10.6 is supported.

I'm happy that the software finally works on my Mac. However, I'm also happy that I run VMWare Fusion in case some future update breaks Bayer's Mac software again.

Apple released Snow Leopard in August 2009. Bayer finally supports it in May 2010. If I didn't have the option of running the Windows software, I would've been very disappointed.


Ron Southerland

With respect to the Mac compatibility of various diabetic meters, although the one I use (from Roche) does not have this compatibility, I note that the Bayer Contour USB sold here in Canada does have Mac-compatible software (Glucofacts Deluxe). That's according to the Bayer website where system requirements are given as 'Mac: OS 10.6.2, 10.5.8 (Intel 64 bit processors only) [and] Java 1.6.0_07 or higher.' The same page also notes 'Additional compatibility with Mac OS? 10.6.3 (Snow Leopard).'


Jul. 16, 2010


Wayne Folta

I don't upload my wife's Glucose meter data to a website, but I do upload it from the meter to my Mac to analyze and make graphs for her doctor.

I run their older PC-based software (forget the name, I'm at work now and can't check) under Windows XP in [the] free Virtualbox, copying/pasting the results to the Mac side of things and proceeding from there.

Basically, this solution means: 1) get the cable for the meter, 2) get a USB adapter from Radio Shack, 3) install the free Virtualbox, 4) into Virtualbox, install a version of Windows, which may not be free to you, 5) install the free program from Bayer under Windows. Then, fire up the virtual windows machine, run their program, connect the meter, and get the data. Copy it, paste it into a file on the Mac, and proceed. (Or, if the older program's stats and graphs work for you, you're done at that point, I guess.)


Mark Hosking

Here are direct download links at for Glucofacts Deluxe Ver 2.07.02 for both Snow Leopard and Windows including support for multiple languages:

No need to register to access the files either.

I hope this helps.


MacInTouch Reader

My glucose meter is from Lifescan.
is their download page and says you must get latest version (2.3.2) if you are running Vista.

Forget Macs, it doesn't even mention Windows 7! Of course, average medical office is still running XP...

Besides, it is just so much fun to sit down and enter data by hand into Excel for my doctor.

Dec. 21, 2010


WK Lee

Bayer's new glucose meter, the Bayer Contour USB is Mac compatible.

OS Compatibility

P: What is the CONTOUR USB operating system compatibility?

R: Bayer's CONTOUR USB Blood Glucose Monitor is currently compatible with Windows 7, Windows XP (SP3) and Vista (SP2) as well as Mac OS 10.6.3 (Snow Leopard) and 10.5.8 (Intel 64 bit processors).

Please register your CONTOUR USB Meter. After registration we will notify you of software updates including news / updates concerning operating system compatibility.

Jul. 9, 2012


Ed Sikorski

Looks like the medical insurance companies (those that take claims, reimburse small offices/medical practices) still force these medical practices to use Internet Explorer if they want to submit and get paid.

When I estimated upgrading current 2006 iMac to a new 2011 iMac (this office is husband/wife office with P/T acct/entry staff) with VMware (Windows 7 Pro, Office 2010, AntiMalware, MSE install, network printer setup), it was simpler and cheaper to get an Acer notebook for their P/T needs.

They decided to forgo (my recommendation of VMware) the "all in one solution" and just use the notebook for the billing (twice weekly).

Had the medical insurance companies allowed for Firefox or Safari input, this extra cost to the small practice would not be there. Ironic that they use a Mac-based patient program but it still needs a 3rd party to interface for insurance payments. And that isn't free.

Jul. 10, 2012


Peter Neame

Ed Sikorski finds frustration with medical insurance companies.

There is little incentive for the medical insurance industry to optimize itself - it's so balkanized that the telephone and fax are the normal methods of communication. And many doctors' offices are significantly behind the curve also.

Medicare, the lowest common denominator (as they are the government, they are required to provide facilities for people who refuse to move into the current century), still, apparently uses modems for communication, so we have been using third parties to communicate with them for some years.

However, I had a very productive conversation with one of the major medical insurance players after berating them for their using a third party for authorizations/payments/on-line claim submission that insisted on IE Explorer. And the upshot, after some months and likely many other complaints, is that the third-party company seems to be compatible with Firefox, at least.

We have a PC in our office (leftover from our previous, non-Mac medical office management software) for just this purpose, but haven't needed to turn it on for several months. We used to use it almost daily.

We elect to use a third party to interpret the insurers communications (yes, it does cost but it's not punitive) just for convenience. It does make things a bit more efficient.

Nor do we really feel the need for Windows on a Mac.


Robert Rosenberg

Ed Sikorski [wrote]:

"Looks like the medical insurance companies (those that take claims, reimburse small offices/medical practices) still force these medical practices to use Internet Explorer if they want to submit and get paid."

Ed - have you tried to use the Debug Menu (or a Plug-In) to tell your browser to tell the Luddite service that you are Internet Explorer and are a Windows machine?

Jul. 24, 2013


MacInTouch Reader

Discovered after attempting to fill out the Altus Dental on-line enrollment form that Safari is not an acceptable browser. According to the Altus Dental contact, only Internet Explorer will work.

Altus will not allow enrollment over the phone. Lucky that I have Parallels with Windows 7/IE installed, or I would have to find another dental insurance company.

Jul. 25, 2013


Thomas Emmerich

For websites that demand a different browser than Safari, there are a couple of alternatives to using a PC or Windows in a VM.

1. Enable the Develop menu in Safari (in preferences) and set the user agent to IE. This will trick the website into allowing Safari to be used. In many cases, Safari will work fine, even though the website programmer tries to prevent you from using it.

2. If Safari just doesn't work right, try an alternate browser such as Firefox or Google Chrome.

I haven't come across any websites lately that I can't get to work using these two alternatives.


Leonard Hermens

It amazes me that a company would continue to support only one browser type that only has 30% to 50% market share (depending if you count mobile devices in the stats or not).


Colleen Thompson


Discovered after attempting to fill out the Altus Dental on-line enrollment form that Safari is not an acceptable browser. According to the Altus Dental contact, only Internet Explorer will work.

Did you try changing to an Internet Explorer user agent in the Develop menu?

You might have to enable the Develop menu first.


David Kilbridge

Not to excuse Altus Dental's bad web programming, but the usual thing to try in your situation is to enable the Develop menu in Safari 6's Advanced preferences and then tell Safari to pretend to be Internet Explorer via the User Agent submenu. And complain to Altus Dental.


Emory Lundberg

A MacInTouch Reader writes:

Altus will not allow enrollment over the phone. Lucky that I have Parallels with Windows 7/IE installed, or I would have to find another dental insurance company.

You probably should anyway, and let them know why. They aren't going to put any resources on it, if it isn't costing them business.


Bruce Klutchko

The Altus Dental rep may have misinformed you. It works with FireFox and doesn't seem to have any special requirements that really necessitate IE. I think it's a combination of apathy, bad programming, and a misinformed reply to your question. Good luck with them.


Richard Rose

How ironic.

Clicking the link in Colleen Thompson's post about enabling the Developer Menu in Safari in order to let Safari talk to Websites that demand Internet Explorer takes one to the Apple Support site. I am at work, using a US Govenment Windows PC running an older version IE which I am not permitted to update. The Apple site won't let me in, giving the error message:

Your Browser is not Supported.

We recommend the latest version of Safari, Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer to use our support pages or tools.



MacInTouch Reader

User-agent spoofing, by whatever means, may provide a quick fix and provide a way to get by, but that's all it will ever be.

Without giving some feedback on browser agnosticism to the myopic organizations that still develop only for specific browsers (IE), things might never change.

Changes are, most will ignore such feedback, but it's still worth the effort, even if one site becomes enlightened.

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