Click here to find out about helping with AIDA
Click here to return to the AIDA diabetic software simulator program home page
Click here to access the AIDA diabetic software simulator program
The information presented at this site is for general use only and is not intended to provide personal medical advice or substitute for the advice of your doctor or diabetes specialist. If you have any questions about any of the information presented here, concerns about individual health matters or the management of your diabetes, please consult your doctor or diabetes specialist
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

(Re)-Load AIDA Frames / Menus
This Web page provides answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding AIDA. In no particular order:

  • 1. How can one change the blood glucose units from mmol/l to mg/dl
  • ?
  • 2. When will Humalog / lispro become available in AIDA
  • ?
  • 3. How many insulin injections are allowed in AIDA
  • ?
  • 4. When will exercise become available for simulation in AIDA
  • ?
  • 5. Can AIDA help with graphing blood glucose test results
  • ?
  • 6. I have heard great things about AIDA from others. What exactly does the program do
  • ?
  • 7. What does AIDA stand for
  • ?
  • 8. Can AIDA advise me what insulin dosage to inject
  • ?
  • 9. How can I be informed when new features are added to AIDA / this Website - or when new versions of the program are released
  • ?
  • 10. How can I help with AIDA
  • ?
  • 11. How much does AIDA cost
  • ?
  • 12. I would like to try out the AIDA simulation program. Where can I obtain a copy
  • ?
  • 13. What computers does AIDA work on
  • ?
  • 14. Can you send me AIDA on compact disk / diskette
  • ?
  • 15. How can I find out more about AIDA
  • ?
  • 16. I would like to link to this Website, do I need permission
  • ?
  • 17. When will a Windows version of AIDA become available
  • ?
  • 18. If I cannot match my own personal regimen / therapy plan using AIDA, then is it of any use to me
  • ?
  • 19. What is the closest preparation to Humalog / lispro (rapidly-acting insulin) in the AIDA database
  • ?
  • 20. How are people making use of AIDA
  • ?
  • 21. How does AIDA actually work
  • ?
  • 22. I use insulin YYYYYY. As AIDA does not include insulin YYYYYY, is it of any use to me
  • ?
  • 23. How can I simulate pump regimens using AIDA
  • ?
  • 24. How exactly does 'AIDA on-line' work
  • ?
  • 25. The AIDA Website appears to have a pale pink background to the Web pages. Is it possible to change this
  • ?
  • 26. I get a "Plugin Error - The plugin did not initialise properly" when trying to download the AIDA program. What can I do about this
  • ?
  • 27. When will Lantus / glargine become available in AIDA
  • ?
  • 28. Can you change the email address used for my subscription to the AIDA registration / announcement list
  • ?
  • 29. Is it possible to obtain a copy of the AIDA source code
  • ?
  • 30. Is it possible to translate AIDA / 'AIDA on-line' into other languages
  • ?
  • 31. What is the easiest way of uninstalling AIDA v4 from one's PC
  • ?
  • 32. May we have copyright permission to distribute AIDA on our CD
  • ?

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    1. How can one change the blood glucose units from mmol/l to mg/dl?

    In the downloadable (PC) version of AIDA - from the data entry screen - press the function key for "Options" and then press the letter key - a - to toggle (switch) the blood glucose units from mmol/l to mg/dl (or back again).

    In 'AIDA on-line' - scroll down the
    opening page to the heading which says "Options". Here under the first entry you will be able to select the blood glucose units that you prefer (mmol/l or mg/dl).

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    2. When will Humalog / lispro become available in AIDA?

    It is difficult to give a definite prediction for this - but an updated version of AIDA incorporating rapidly-acting insulins like Humalog / lispro will become available from this site in due course. If you would like to be automatically informed by email when this updated version of the program is released, please feel free to join the low volume AIDA announcement list. You can do this either by entering your email id below and pressing the Submit button

    or by sending a blank email note to: subscribe@2aida.org

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    3. How many insulin injections are allowed in AIDA?

    AIDA v4 currently caters for 4 (four) insulin injections per day. Up to 2 different preparations can be given in any one injection - so that allows for a total of 8 different preparations being injected per day. Future versions of AIDA will allow for more injections.

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    4. When will exercise become available for simulation in AIDA?

    Once again, it is difficult to give a definite prediction for this - but an updated version of AIDA incorporating exercise will become available from this site in due course. If you would like to be automatically informed by email when this updated version of the program is released, please feel free to join the low volume AIDA announcement list. You can do this either by entering your email id below and pressing the Submit button

    or by sending a blank email note to: subscribe@2aida.org

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    5. Can AIDA help with graphing blood glucose test results?

    No. AIDA is an interactive educational simulation program. It allows people to experiment with different insulin dosage and diet adjustments for self-learning, teaching or demonstration purposes - as a way to understand more about the processes involved in achieving metabolic control. It is not a graphing program for blood glucose results.

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    6. I have heard great things about AIDA from others. What exactly does the program do?

    AIDA is an interactive educational simulation program. It allows people to experiment with different insulin dosage and diet adjustments for self-learning, teaching or demonstration purposes - as a way to understand more about the processes involved in achieving metabolic control. To see what AIDA can do - check out the AIDA demo at this Website - or experiment with 'AIDA on-line' which offers similar functionality to the downloadable program - but with the results displayed in a Web browser window.

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    7. What does AIDA stand for?

    The AIDA name is a historical name - which has been kept because it is quite fun, and different. A long time ago some of the original AIDA developers were tasked with trying to construct a prototype computer program which might be able to offer some advice on insulin-dosage adjustment. This program incorporated a simulation engine and a knowledge based system - and was called an Automated Insulin Dosage Advisor (or AIDA for short).

    However it soon became apparent that the simulation engine was not sufficiently accurate for individual patient blood glucose prediction or therapy planning. For more information about the limitations of AIDA please check out the
    Caveats Web Page and the Technical Guide.

    Notwithstanding these limitations, it soon became apparent that the simulation approach - while not being useful for therapy - potentially had a lot to offer for education. Given this, a decision was taken to restructure the program for educational use. However the AIDA name stuck - and the educational program which has been refined and developed over time is also now called 'AIDA'.

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    8. Can AIDA advise me what insulin dosage to inject?

    No. Definitely not. AIDA is purely an educational tool - intended for self-learning, teaching and / or demonstration purposes. It is not meant for individual patient blood glucose prediction or therapy planning. Basically, if you have diabetes, the simulator is not sufficiently accurate to predict your own personal blood glucose profile. This is because everyone is different, and each person's diabetes is different. AIDA can only offer an approximation as to what an example patient's blood glucose profile might look like. Therefore while you might be able to use this program to learn, the program is not accurate enough for therapy planning.

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    9. How can I be informed when new features are added to AIDA / this Website - or when new versions of the program are released?

    We have set up a dedicated AIDA registration / announcement list - via which people can be automatically informed by email about developments with AIDA / 'AIDA on-line' and / or the AIDA Website. Traffic on this list is very infrequent / low volume. Also this list is maintained on an external server - so people can subscribe or unsubscribe as they wish - without any need to involve the AIDA developers. To join the low volume AIDA announcement list, you can either enter your email id below and press the Submit button

    or send a blank email note to: subscribe@2aida.org   In this way you will be automatically informed about major developments with AIDA.

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    10. How can I help with AIDA?

    AIDA is a not-for-profit venture, being developed in people's spare time. The program is being made available via the Web as a non-commercial contribution to continuing diabetes education. As such, any help that people may be able to offer with either the program or the Website is most gratefully received. There is a separate AIDA Helper's Page at this site, on which an email address is quoted, from which you can find out more information about helping with AIDA.

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    11. How much does AIDA cost?

    AIDA is free. I.e. it costs nothing to download and use. As such it is known as freeware software. Similarly 'AIDA on-line' is completely free to use.

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    12. I would like to try out the AIDA simulation program. Where can I obtain a copy?

    From this Website! Check out the AIDA Download Page.

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    13. What computers does AIDA work on?

    The downloadable version of AIDA was primarily designed for IBM compatible personal computers (PCs). However it has become apparent that this 'PC' version of AIDA will also work on Apple Macintosh computers, provided they are running PC / Windows emulation software. For more information, check out the AIDA Apple Mac Web page at this site. AIDA has been tested quite extensively with both SoftWindows and VirtualPC - and works quite well on Apple Macs running these emulators.

    'AIDA on-line' @ http://www.2aida.net is a Web-based application which works independently of the local computer. Therefore 'AIDA on-line' can be accessed from PCs, Apple Macs, Unix machines, NT servers, etc, etc. The only requirements are that the local machine should have an Internet connection and a graphical display. With these it should be possible to run diabetes simulations using 'AIDA on-line' from any machine, anywhere. In fact one does not even need a computer to access 'AIDA on-line'. Reports have been received from WebTV owners who have been using 'AIDA on-line' via their WebTV.

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    14. Can you send me AIDA on compact disk / diskette?

    No I am sorry, this is not possible. The time and resource implications of posting diskettes all over the world are considerable. Also this is not really necessary - as from the AIDA Download Page it is possible to download a copy of the AIDA software in less than 5 minutes (24 hours a day). Such Web-based distribution of the program is much more efficient than posting out copies by hand.

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    15. How can I find out more about AIDA?

    There is a considerable amount of information about AIDA at this Website. If you want to understand more about how the program works - check out the AIDA Technical Guide. For information about work to clinically evaluate AIDA - check out the Evaluation section of the site. Also to find out about how people are making use of AIDA in various research projects - do check out the Research section of the site.

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    16. I would like to link to this Website, do I need permission?

    No. No permission is required. In fact it is much appreciated when people do set up Web links to this site. For more information about linking to http://www.2aida.org please do check out our AIDA Links Page. Also we have a range of graphics / logos which people are free to use to link to the AIDA Website. These can be found on our Logos Web page.

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    17. When will a Windows version of AIDA become available?

    It is difficult to give a definite prediction for this - but if you would like to be automatically informed by email when a Windows version of the program is released, please feel free to join the low volume AIDA announcement list. You can do this either by entering your email id below and pressing the Submit button

    or by sending a blank email note to: subscribe@2aida.org

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    18. If I cannot match my own personal regimen / therapy plan using AIDA, then is it of any use to me?

    Yes. We occasionally come across the misconception that one needs to be able to recreate one's exact regimen to be able to use AIDA for a particular individual. This is incorrect. First AIDA will rarely be able to accurately reproduce an individual's blood glucose profile. And even if it works for one person, it will not necessarily work for another. No model will be able to recreate all peoples' blood glucose profiles. Given this we are not so much aiming for accuracy with AIDA, as for realism.

    In this respect, once we have achieved an element of realism the idea is to educate. People can learn not just by reproducing what they are doing at the moment - but also by exploring alternative options and just getting a clearer idea as to what might be possible to improve glycaemic control.

    Using a flight simulator analogy if one always flies the London to San Francisco route - a flight simulator which allows one to practice landings in London and San Francisco may be of interest - but ultimately will not be as accurate as the real thing. In addition the strength of a simulator will come from being able to simulate alternative flight paths and landings in other less familiar airports, for instance in an emergency situation (e.g. in the flight simulator analogy an emergency landing en route in Baltimore or Greenland).

    Therefore we see one of the key roles of an educational simulation program such as AIDA to be to broaden people's perspectives and horizons, & help them gain experience by adjusting the computer's (AIDA's) insulin and diet regimen - safe from the risks of hypo- or hyper-glycaemia.

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    19. What is the closest preparation to Humalog / lispro (rapidly-acting insulin) in the AIDA database?

    We will provide an answer to this question - but wish to make clear that this is a compromise. At present Humalog / lispro (rapidly-acting insulin) is not catered for in the AIDA v4 model / simulation engine. However if someone wishes to approximate a Humalog / lispro regimen it would be necessary to give the simulator an injection of regular (Actrapid-like) insulin 15-30 minutes earlier than usual. This will lead to an earlier peak - although it will not actually recreate the more rapid rise and fall which is seen with preparations like Humalog / lispro.

    This is clearly not ideal - but hopefully this suggestion will be better than nothing - until a version of AIDA which incorporates Humalog / lispro becomes available.

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    20. How are people making use of AIDA?

    People report using AIDA in a whole host of different ways. The largest number of downloads of the AIDA program seem to be made by people with diabetes and / or their relatives. However we also get a fair number of health-care professionals downloading the software - either out of personal interest, or for teaching. Some health-carers report using the software for teaching students (e.g. junior doctors / interns, medical students, or student nurses), while others report using the program for teaching patients. To find out more about how these users are making use of AIDA - check out our User Reviews section, as well as our 'Sound Bites' Web page where short user comments can be found. Also you might like to visit our Comments Web Page where people have documented why they are downloading the AIDA (PC) software.

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    21. How does AIDA actually work?

    Explained simply - AIDA contains a model of glucose-insulin interaction in diabetes. This is used to generate the simulations. In addition AIDA incorporates a simple knowledge-based system which provides suggestions about things to simulate next. For more detailed information about how AIDA works - check out the AIDA Technical Guide.

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    22. I use insulin YYYYYY. As AIDA does not include insulin YYYYYY, is it of any use to me?

    Yes. It is a sometimes expressed view that if AIDA cannot simulate an exact diabetes regimen for a particular individual - then it is not possible to be used by that person. Similarly it is sometimes stated that without a particular feature (e.g. Humalog / lispro, exercise, certain pump regimens, etc) the program cannot be used by that individual. This actually rather misses the point of the program.

    The aim / intention of AIDA is not to exactly reproduce an individual's own regimen and therefore provide individual blood glucose predictions and simulations. Rather the idea is for a user to be able to gain wider experience of changes in insulin and diet in diabetes, as a way of learning about the processes involved.

    In this respect we are not just aiming to simulate an individual's own regimen. If AIDA can match an individual's blood glucose profile - that is obviously great. However we actually also wish to be able to provide wider experience of other regimens via use of the program.

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    23. How can I simulate pump regimens using AIDA?

    AIDA does not at present cater for dedicated pump regimens. However we have come across some insulin pump users who have been making use of AIDA. Basically they are using 2 entries for long-acting insulin (e.g. ultratard) to provide a 'basal'-like background level of insulin - and then supplement this with some short-acting (regular) insulin to provide boluses. In this way some people seem to be finding the simulator of use - even for pump education.

    We do not have too much experience with this but have set up a trial
    Pump Web Page which provides more information. Clearly this can only address the more basic of pump regimens. Nevertheless as people have been making use of this approach - it seemed that it might be worthwhile to make this known to a wider audience via the Website.

    If this can help some people learn a bit, or broaden their experience, then we think this will have been worthwhile. In this respect people's mileage may vary - so what works for one person clearly may not be so useful for someone else, and vice versa. In this respect it is important to note that a lot of people, particularly outside the USA, may not necessarily have the latest, most sophisticated programmable pumps - so some basic regimens for them may actually be very appropriate.

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    24. How exactly does 'AIDA on-line' work?

    The answer to this question is not simple - but further information about the background to 'AIDA on-line' can be obtained by clicking here. Also a summary of how 'AIDA on-line' works can be obtained by clicking here. Information about the details of the model used within 'AIDA on-line' can be obtained by clicking here.

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    25. The AIDA Website appears to have a pale pink background to the Web pages. Is it possible to change this?

    Historically the original AIDA PC Website had a pale pink background. By contrast the original 'AIDA on-line' site had a plain white background. It was commented at the time that the previous 'AIDA on-line' site appeared a bit 'harsh', and clinical, and it was suggested that a softer colour might be more appealing! Therefore when the 2 previous sites were merged here at http://www.2aida.org a decision was taken to standardise the background colour on the softer, hopefully more appealing, very pale pink. And no we can't change it! :-)

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    26. I get a "Plugin Error - The plugin did not initialise properly" when trying to download the AIDA program. What can I do about this?

    If this problem occurs at the AIDA Website - try and download some other executable (.EXE) file from another Website. You will most likely have the same difficulty with other .EXE files, from other Websites. This is nothing to do with AIDA or the AIDAINST.EXE / AIDADOS.EXE installation files. Rather this seems to be a problem which manifests itself with Microsoft Internet Explorer. If you have access to Netscape Navigator / Netscape Communicator or some other Web browser - trying to download the same AIDA installation file should work fine.

    So what is the problem? Well, it would appear that for whatever reason a .EXE plugin key has been installed in the Registry on your computer. This causes Microsoft Internet Explorer problems - and basically will not permit you to download any .EXE files from any Websites. Typically Netscape-style plugins do not work after upgrading Internet Explorer, although it seems the problem can manifest itself even when Internet Explorer has not been upgraded.

    So what can be done about this? Well, the problem is easy enough to fix. What you need to do is remove the plugin using the Registry Edit program (Regedit.exe). To run this click on the Windows Start button - select Run - and type in regedit.exe and press [ENTER]. Navigate down to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Internet Explorer \ Plugins \ Extension \ .exe key. If that key exists, you will see what plugin has been installed. A .exe plugin key should not normally exist. Having highlighted the key, click on Registry in the top left corner of the tool bar and select "Export Registry File" to make a backup copy of the registry key (as a normal safety precaution). Once the key has been backed up (just in case you need to access it again) - then right mouse click on the key and select "Delete" to remove it. After restarting your machine (turning off & on) you should find that Internet Explorer will now download executable (.EXE) files as normal.

    Please note: if you are unfamiliar with your computer's Registry - it is generally a good idea to seek advice from an expert before editing any entries in your Registry. Please also note: These guidance notes refer to 32-bit IBM-compatible PCs running Windows operating systems (not to Apple Macintosh computers).

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    27. When will Lantus / glargine become available in AIDA?

    It is difficult to give a definite prediction for this - but an updated version of AIDA incorporating long-acting insulins like Lantus / glargine will become available from this site in due course. If you would like to be automatically informed by email when this updated version of the program is released, please feel free to join the low volume AIDA announcement list. You can do this either by entering your email id below and pressing the Submit button

    or by sending a blank email note to: subscribe@2aida.org

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    28. Can you change the email address used for my subscription to the AIDA registration / announcement list?

    No! Unfortunately not. The AIDA registration / announcement list is an opt-in list. That is to say people need to supply their preferred email address, and then confirm with an email from that address that they are happy to receive messages. This approach prevents people being subscribed to lists without their knowledge / permission / approval. This approach also ensures that everyone on a particular opt-in list has actually chosen to be on that list.

    Given this, the AIDA authors cannot subscribe anyone to the AIDA registration / announcement list. As a result, if you are subscribed under an old email address, and you are changing your email id, the easiest way to keep your subscription up to date is to send a blank email note to:
    subscribe@2aida.org from your new id. In this way you will ensure that you continue to receive announcements about AIDA via your new id. If messages to your old id bounce, that email address will anyway be automatically removed from the list, in due course, by the list software.

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    29. Is it possible to obtain a copy of the AIDA source code?

    No. Unfortunately not. There can be many complex issues involved in making available and supporting the distribution of source code. The work required for this can be considerable, particularly providing support answering queries about the code. Furthermore one of the main compilers used to generate part of the AIDA v4 execuatable code is no longer sold, meaning that several hundred lines of AIDA v4 source code cannot be recompiled. In addition while we have been approached at various times by people who have some ideas of fun things that they think they could do with AIDA, if they had the source code, over time we have come to realise that most of these ideas are less exciting and of less overall benefit to people with diabetes than some of what we ourselves (the AIDA authors) wish to do with AIDA. As a result, given limited time and resources, we prefer to concentrate our efforts on generating a Windows-based version of AIDA which incorporates Humalog / lispro, Lantus / glargine, insulin pumps, exercise, etc, etc... The list is long! Given this, it is not possible to obtain a copy of the AIDA source code from this Website, at the present time.

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    30. Is it possible to translate AIDA / 'AIDA on-line' into other languages?

    Theoretically, yes. However the technical (programming) issues surrounding this are somewhat involved and complex. For a full discussion of these points please see out Translation Issues Web page. For the reasons outlined on this page we are keen to embark on some translation collaborations by seeing the Diabetes / Insulin Tutorial Web pages translated first. These are fixed HTML pages, which should be easier to translate, initially, without needing to wait for any changes to be made to the AIDA program source code, or the 'AIDA on-line' scripts.

    If you may be interested in translating the Diabetes / Insulin Tutorial into another language, and hosting this at your own diabetes Website, please feel free to contact us either by using the on-line AIDA contact form.


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    31. What is the easiest way of uninstalling AIDA v4 from one's PC?

    AIDA v4.1a (DOS install version) and AIDA v4.3a (Windows install version) do not come with an uninstall program. To remove AIDA v4.3a from your computer you should only need to follow three simple steps.

    (i) All AIDA related files are stored in a single directory. This will have been specified at install time - but is most likely to be C:\AIDAv4.3a (or something similar). You can delete this directory and all its contents.

    (ii) On the Start Menu | Programs toolbar there should be an entry for AIDA. Right mouse button clicking on this and selecting Delete should remove this from your Programs toolbar.

    (iii) Finally, you may have an AIDA icon on your desktop. If so, right mouse button clicking on this and selecting Delete should remove this from your desktop.

    For users of AIDA v4.1a (or earlier DOS install versions) you simply need to follow step (i) above. Steps (ii) and (iii) only refer to copies of the program setup using the Windows installer.

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    32. May we have copyright permission to distribute AIDA on our CD?

    No. We are sorry but for a variety of reasons we are unkeen to see other people, who we do not know, distributing AIDA on one of their CDs. Clearly we are not in a position to check the reliability or validity of the offers / claims made to us. Also we cannot always be certain what are the motivations behind some of the requests we receive. ?Commercial? For these reasons we have to decline copyright permission for distributing AIDA on CD - whether the proposal is from a commercial organisation or a non-profit venture.

    By contrast, what we have found works very well is for people who are interested to include *links* to the AIDA Website @ http://www.2aida.org - and/or 'AIDA on-line' @ http://www.2aida.net on their CD. Along similar lines it would be fine by us to include a page or two of information on the CD about AIDA and the type of diabetes simulations that it can offer. In this way users of the CD will still be able to have access to information about AIDA and its diabetes simulations, via the Website.

    A particular benefit of this approach - including such links - rather than trying to copy AIDA v4 onto the CD (for which copyright permission is not granted), is that in this way - as newer versions of AIDA are released - so the CD does not become out of date. It is easy to envisage that if AIDA v4.3a was pressed on a CD, that is already out of date as soon as AIDA v5 is released via this Website. As such we prefer people to include links to the AIDA Website on their CD, rather than the program itself.

    Also we very much welcome information about ways in which people have found use for the AIDA program. Perhaps you would like to sign the
    AIDA Guestbook giving some further details about how your CD will be distributed and used, and how many copies will be made. Maybe you could also let us know what sort of end users will be receiving it. If you would like to send us a copy of your CD with links to the AIDA Website, that would be very much appreciated. Please contact us by using the on-line AIDA contact form for further information.

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    B A N N E R . E X C H A N G E . A D V E R T I S E M E N T
    The Medical BannerExchange
    Why we are displaying banners at the AIDA Website?


    Return to Top of Page If you like AIDA, why not display our logo on your home page? For more information about linking to the AIDA Website please click here.

    AIDA Website home Return to AIDA Website Home Page AIDA is a freeware diabetic software simulator program of glucose-insulin action + insulin dose & diet adjustment in diabetes mellitus. It is intended purely for education, self-learning and / or teaching use. It is not meant for individual blood glucose prediction or therapy planning. Caveats

    This Web page was last updated on 19th October, 2003. (c) www.2aida.org, 2000-2003. All rights reserved. Disclaimer. For the AIDA European Website, please click here. For the Diabetes / Insulin Tutorial, please click here.