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February 2019

Should You Use an App to Manage Your Diabetes?

Once upon a time, a pen-and-paper log marked the only way to track your blood glucose. Now, an increasing array of smartphone apps promise to help you keep tabs on your readings and improve your health. As of 2018, an estimated 1.7 billion smartphone users had downloaded mobile health apps, many related to diabetes.

Older man, seated, looking at his cell phone

These apps can’t replace your healthcare provider. Nor can they take the responsibility of managing your disease off your hands. But research suggests that, as part of an overall care plan, they theoretically can help you adhere to diet, exercise, and medicine management plans. This could lead to improved diabetes-related outcomes.

Here are just a few of the apps currently available to manage your diabetes. Check with your healthcare provider about which could help you.

  • Glooko, free for iPhone and Android. With this app, you can sync your blood glucose meter, insulin pump, continuous glucose monitoring system, and exercise tracker directly to your smartphone. Add food, medicine, and lifestyle information, then share the full report with your diabetes care team.

  • OnTrack Diabetes, free for iPhone and Android. Log your blood glucose, food, hemoglobin A1c, weight, and other diabetes-related factors. Create graphs that make your data easy to understand, and enjoy simplified tracking of your daily, weekly, and monthly average glucose levels.

  • Medisafe – Pill & Med Reminder, free for iPhone and Android. Developed after the founders’ father double-dosed on insulin, this app can send you reminders to take your treatments on time and alert a family member or care team member if you forget.

Always make sure you understand who developed the app before downloading it. Also, if you’re concerned about apps accessing or sharing your personal information, check the privacy settings on your device or search for ways to opt-out of data collection in the app privacy policy. Look for contact information in the app store and reach out to the company with any security questions.


Diabetes travel tips videos

Diabetes never takes a vacation, even if you do. Managing your diabetes when you travel can be an added challenge. But if you prepare ahead of time, you can help yourself stay healthy. For some tips on how you can plan ahead, watch this video provided by the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP). In the video, David explains how he goes about keeping his type 1 diabetes in check, even as he travels more than 100,000 miles each year for work.

Online Medical Reviewer: Gonnella, Joseph, MD
Date Last Reviewed: 11/6/2018
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