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Health IT

Chronic Disease Care On-the-Go: Diabetes Apps

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Mobile apps for managing, treating and tracking illnesses are quickly becoming the norm – even for some of the most chronic diseases.

Healthcare consultant Joe Flower notes that the industry may soon reach a “tipping point” where apps used in clinics or prescribed to patients will “become so commonplace that we will have difficulty remembering how we did without them.” For disease management, apps help doctors and patients work more closely and improve communication between them.

This is especially helpful for the 25 million children and adults in the United States with diabetes, where closely tracking daily activities is necessary in managing the illness.

A variety of iOS and Android apps are designed for diabetics. Some apps focus on tracking glucose levels, connecting directly to glucose monitors and eliminating the need for a paper logbook. Others help patients with medication adherence, and maintaining and tracking eating plans as well as physical activity.

Certain apps are even geared towards closing the information gap between patients and healthcare providers, allowing patients to track and manage health indicators and send that data to their physicians.

Check out these useful apps for managing and monitoring diabetes:

Glooko – (4.5/5 stars on iTunes) With Glooko, patients can monitor glucose intake and access automated averages to analyze their glucose levels (HbA1c percentages) for a given time period to better understand their overall condition. Glooko is an iOS app with a cable that connects a patient’s glucose monitor to their iPhone. In January, Glooko received FDA clearance as an over-the-counter solution for diabetes management.

Glucose Buddy Pro – (4.5/5 stars on iTunes) This app, developed by Azumio, a biofeedback and health oriented application developer, allows patients to manage various aspects of their diabetes care. They can manually enter their glucose levels, keep track of their blood pressure, log nutritional information (including carbohydrate intake) and keep an eye on their physical activity. Patients can also log their medicinal intake within the app. With Glucose Buddy’s online portal, patients can access logged data and send it to their physician for review.

Carb Counting with Lenny – (4/5 stars on iTunes)- For children with Type 1 Diabetes, learning how to count carbs is an essential skill for managing their illness. With this app, children can interactively learn the carb values of their foods in a fun way, allowing them to make their own decisions about healthy food.  It includes a food guide and specific games allowing diabetic children to be masters of their illness.

Diabetes Diary (3.5/5 stars on iTunes) Created by diabetic Chris Bowley, this app is an example of how technology enables patients themselves to fill a void for tools that help them cope with and manage diseases. This app includes an insulin calculator application, a logbook as well as exporting functionality to access this data from your home computer.

GoMeals – (3/5 stars on iTunes) With this app, patients can manage nutrition and exercise. By counting calories, tracking nutritional values for thousands of foods and restaurants and calculating physical activity, diabetics can better control their diets.