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AIDA interactive educational freeware diabetes simulator

AIDA v4 is a freeware computer program that permits the interactive simulation of plasma insulin and blood glucose (BG) profiles for demonstration, teaching, self-learning, and research purposes. It has been made freely available on the World Wide Web as a non-commercial contribution to continuing diabetes education. In the 10 years since its internet launch over 700,000 visits have been logged at the AIDA Websites and well over 200,000 copies of the program have been downloaded. Further copies have been made available, in the past, on diskette by the system developers and from the British Diabetic Association (now called ‘Diabetes UK’), London, U.K. [1]

Additional recommended knowledge


Overview of AIDA model

AIDA v4 has been described in detail in the medical / scientific / computing literature [2] [3] [4]. It incorporates a compartmental model that describes glucose-insulin interaction in patients completely lacking endogenous insulin secretion. It contains a single extra-cellular glucose compartment into which glucose enters via both absorption from the intestine and glucose production from the liver. The AIDA v4 model] also contains separate compartments for plasma and ‘active’ insulin, the latter being responsible for glycaemic control while insulin is removed from the former by liver degradation. Full details of the AIDA v4 model are accessible from within the AIDA software package [5] and can be viewed and printed separately via the AIDA website.

Limitations of model

It is important to note that AIDA v4, like other model-based approaches, is not sufficiently accurate to be used for individual patient simulation or glycaemic prediction [6] [7] [8]. Therefore, as the program makes clear, it is not intended for therapy planning and can only be used for teaching, self-learning, demonstration, or research purposes. While the AIDA v4 software can simulate a wide variety of insulin dosage and diet adjustments, it should be stressed that the purpose of AIDA is to create a learning environment for communicating and training intuitive thinking when dealing with such adjustments. In this respect AIDA appears most of use for recreating clinical situations – rather than trying to predict best outcome.

Use as an educational tool

The AIDA v4 software comes with forty educational case scenarios as standard, each of which represents a ‘snapshot’ of the metabolic status of a typical patient with respect to insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes mellitus. It is easy for users to add or create further case scenarios, as required. Examples of the application of AIDA v4 as an educational tool can be found in various journal articles [9] [10] and a full demonstration can be viewed on line at, or downloaded without charge from, the AIDA Website.

User reviews

Independent user reviews of the AIDA software can be found on the Web at and as well as in the medical / diabetes / computing literature [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]. The AIDA diabetes simulator has been independently selected for inclusion in the United Kingdom National Health Service National Library for Health Diabetes Specialist Library list of Web resources.


  1. ^ Lehmann ED, Deutsch T, Broad D: AIDA: an educational simulator for insulin dosage and dietary adjustment in diabetes. British Diabetic Association, London, 1997. Google Scholar Citations: [1]
  2. ^ A physiological model of glucose-insulin interaction. In: IEEE EMBS Proceedings, 13th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society 1991;13(5):2274-2275. Free full text: [2]
  3. ^ AIDA2: A Mk. II automated insulin dosage advisor. J Biomed Eng 1993;15:201-211. Free abstract: [3]
  4. ^ Experience with the Internet release of AIDA v4 – an interactive educational diabetes simulator. Diabetes Technol Ther 1999;1:41-54. Free full text: [4]
  5. ^ A physiological model of glucose-insulin interaction in type I diabetes mellitus. J Biomed Eng 1992;14:235-242. Free abstract: [5]
  6. ^ Retrospective validation of a physiological model of glucose-insulin interaction in type 1 diabetes mellitus. Med Eng Phys 1994;16:193-202 [Published erratum appears in Med Eng Phys 1994;16:351-352]. Free abstract: [6]
  7. ^ Computer assisted diabetes care: a 6 year retrospective. Comput Methods Programs Biomed 1996;50:209-230. Free full text: [7]
  8. ^ Compartmental models for glycaemic prediction and decision-support in clinical diabetes care: promise and reality. Comput Methods Programs Biomed 1998;56:193-204. Free full text: [8]
  9. ^ Interactive educational simulators in diabetes care. Med Inform 1997;22:47-76. Free abstract: [9]
  10. ^ Preliminary experience with the Internet release of AIDA – an interactive educational diabetes simulator. Comput Methods Programs Biomed 1998;56:109-132. Free full text: [10]
  11. ^ Wilson DM: Diabetes simulators: ready for prime time? Diabetes Technol Ther 1999;1:55-56. Free full text: [11]
  12. ^ Website Review. The Virtual Diabetic Patient: AIDA on-line. Diabetes Metab Res Rev 1999;15:226.
  13. ^ Chausmer AB: Diabetes management tools for patients and physicians. Medical Software Reviews CRI Health Care Publications, September / October 2002;11:1-16.
  14. ^ Parslow GR: Websites of Note. Biochem Educ 2004;32(3):207-209.
  15. ^ Tatti P: AIDA: Un nuovo strumento educativo per il paziente con diabete. In: 1st National Congress of Progetto Diabete, Genova, Italy, 2006;p.31 (Italian).
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "AIDA_interactive_educational_freeware_diabetes_simulator". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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