Proper Type 2 diabetes care requires a daily and diligent commitment to health, encompassing a careful watch of blood glucose levels as well as proper nutrition and exercise. Diabetes is an increasingly common disease, yet each individual requires unique treatment and care. Self-management is a part of this care, but information pertaining to this disease can be difficult to remember and analyze, particularly because crunching the numbers is often very boring and tedious. However, with the help of some new mobile applications, monitoring and viewing blood glucose levels and other data is much simpler than it has been in the past. Gone are the days of fiddling around with log books or other means of manual data entry. Digital diabetes tools and smartphone apps are the way of the future. Check out these five.
Fooducate This app is one of the most useful “diet” apps on the market for those with diabetes. From Fooducate, you can scan the barcode of any food item or select it from the thousands of products listed in the database. It will bring up detailed information about that food, including sugar content, MSG and other metrics, even suggesting potential replacements and meal ideas. You can also enter your health conditions and goals into the app and it will track your progress. Available at: Fooducate.com, free for iOS and Android users, though some advanced features require the creation of a premium account.
Glooko Glooko bills itself as a “unified diabetes management system.” Using Glooko, patients can synch their mobile phones to their blood glucose meters – more than 30 models are supported – and import this information into an electronic format. Additionally, they can input details of their diet and exercise regimen which will be tracked over time. This system is designed to be used by both individuals and health care providers, who can use the data to improve the care of a patient while observing larger trends in the population. Available at glooko.com, $60 a year.
Glucose Buddy Glucose Buddy allows patients to keep a record of their glucose readings, medicinal intake and food consumption over time. This info can be plotted in a series of easy-to-read graphs, helping users to get a “larger picture” of their handle on the disease. This software uses proprietary methods to estimate HbA1c results by analyzing the last 90 days of user-inputted data, resulting in a comprehensive depiction of the factors affecting blood glucose levels. Available at glucosebuddy.com, Google Play and Apple app store, free.
Misfit Fitness Band Misfit’s popular fitness bands include an app to help you track your diet, exercise and sleep. The band can also connect to “smart” home security and automation systems; Misfit is one of several new brands bridging the gap between wearables and residential spaces. It is capable of interfacing with home automation systems and alerting loved ones in the house if its wearer’s blood sugar takes a dangerous plunge. Available at store.misfit.com, starting at $50.
Apple’s HealthKit HealthKit is Apple’s central “health” platform from which all health-related apps can be accessed, their cumulative data digested and displayed in one easy-to-read location. It helps iOS device users stay mindful their health information from a convenient central location and allow access to trusted third-party apps. Of particular interest to diabetics and others with long-term health conditions is the emergency medical ID. This card contains vital health information and can be accessed even when the device is showing the lock screen. Thus a patient who has lost consciousness or is otherwise uncommunicative can still be identified as diabetic and the proper procedures implemented by healthcare professionals. Free with iOS 8.