According to research posted to the Journal of the American Medical Association, as much as 12-14 percent of the adult population in the United States is affected by diabetes. However, the modern era has made managing the disorder easier than ever before.
Desktop and mobile apps are widely available for users to easily track and manage their conditions. This may help them to make positive changes and help manage their blood sugar levels safely.
What to look for
There are a number of apps available to help alleviate some of the stress that comes from daily diabetes management.
One of the most important parts of personal diabetes management is being able to monitor the following factors:
There can be a lot of numbers and times to remember, and a lot of math goes into every meal of the day. This can be an annoying experience.
Luckily, there are several apps that take some of the heavy burden off the shoulders of someone with diabetes.
There are a number of different things that affect the average person with diabetes. As such, there are also a few different categories of diabetes apps. These include:
- logbook apps
- calorie counters
- diet apps
- carbohydrate counting apps
- general diabetes management apps
This article reviews some of the best diabetes apps of the year.
Logbook apps enable people with diabetes to keep a log of the vital statistics that relate to their condition. The most important being their blood sugar levels.
The diabetes app, mySugr, is a personalized logbook app for both Apple and Android devices. Users can change the way they log key statistics to a way that suits them. The app helps users to analyze these statistics in order to achieve their goals.
The app also has an estimated HbA1c feature, for glycated hemoglobin measurements. This provides an overall picture of average blood sugar levels based on personalized tracking statistics. It provides feedback and supports a user in their treatment goals.
The app also securely backs up all of the information that is entered.
The pro version of the app, which is $2.99/month, includes:
- blood sugar reminders
- printable readouts for a doctor's visit and personal records
- a smart search feature to find diabetes-friendly meals, places, and activities
There is even a mySugr junior app, designed for open communication between children with diabetes and their doctors and carers.
GlucOracle is a new app from Columbia University Medical Center. It helps to forecast a person's blood sugar levels.
Each meal submitted gives users a look at their projected glucose levels after the meal. This allows people to prevent spikes and crashes and to take insulin before they eat a meal.
The app creates a personalized algorithm that tries to mimic your endocrine system. After about 7 days, or 20 meals, of using it, personal glucose forecasts are dialed in for most users.
GlucOracle users can also get feedback about the nutrients in their meals to help them monitor and improve their food intake. GlucOracle is available for both Apple and Android devices.
Some apps help people monitor their glucose levels and give handy reminders when the next blood sugar test is due.
Glucose Buddy is a logbook app, available for both Apple and Android devices, that lets people keep close track of important statistics, such as:
- blood glucose
- carbohydrate intake
- medication use
- activity levels
- blood pressure
Glucose Buddy also provides push notifications, reminding users when it is time to test their blood sugar.
The app provides a calendar with daily readouts to easily track blood sugar levels, and doctor printouts to make visits even easier.
BG Monitor is an Android app designed to track important statistics each day for people with diabetes. It also helps to analyze the data provided.
The app can automatically identify blood sugar trends and remind the user if any adjustments are needed. A more comprehensive page is also available that shows graphs. These can be filtered by data and date to find the exact information a person needs.
BG Monitor can help calculate insulin levels for each meal based on the data that it is given. Users enter blood glucose levels and the foods to be eaten, and the app can calculate how much insulin a person will need. It is an all-around quick and convenient app.
Glooko is a pay-to-use app for Android devices that is said to have a good reputation with users.
It is designed to help people see how their diabetes impacts them, personally. It can display a number of key bits of information, including:
- times of day blood sugar spikes or falls
- days of the week diabetes has the biggest impact
- how the user's blood sugarlevels compare to other data
The built-in food database automatically tracks carbs, and graphs and trends can be viewed in multiple ways.
The app is ready to be synced with data from weight and blood pressure trackers for a comprehensive experience.
The DiabetesConnect app is available for both Android and Apple devices, and is easy to use.
Users can record blood sugar, meals, injections and medications, and other important stats directly to the app. It is suitable for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and its features can be turned off and on as needed to avoid clutter.
Important medical statistics are housed in the app, and all the information can sync to multiple devices for use from the home or office. The data can then be exported to a doctor for a quick checkup in between appointments.
Apps for newly diagnosed peopleDiabetes can be difficult for newly diagnosed individuals, especially children, to understand. Here are some apps which make the learning process easier:
Carb counting with Lenny
Learning to manage type 1 diabetes can be especially difficult for children and their parents, but there are apps available to help make the process fun.
The app Carb counting with Lenny is designed to help ease kids or adults new to diabetes into managing their conditions.
It helps people to monitor their carb intake, and turns carb-counting into a fun experience, with the help of a friendly lion character.
The food guide feature helps to learn the carb values of different foods, and the carb games feature tests a person's knowledge with interactive games. It is a good beginner's app to understanding the carb values of various foods.
Diabetes:M is an app for Apple and Android designed to help users understand and manage diabetes. It enables users to:
- track food intake
- monitor their diet
- enter their important values on-the-go in the logbook
- analyze their data in an instant
The app is equipped with a Bolus calculator for balanced insulin injections. It can also remind users of their forthcoming tests or appointments, and allow them to easily exports data to a doctor before the next visit.
Food and exercise appsThere are many food and exercise apps available, including:
MyFitnessPal is a calorie counter app for both Apple and Android that is designed to help users lose weight.
It has more than 6 million foods in its database, and is equipped with a barcode scanner to make input even easier.
All nutrients can be tracked, and the app allows users to set goals. It helps people form healthy habits to make hitting goals more likely.
The app also allows users to log their exercise and steps and find out how many calories they are burning. Users can connect with friends and join the larger community to celebrate their victories and keep each other motivated.
The MyNetDiary app is a food and exercise tracking app available on all platforms. Users can access the app from a smartphone, desktop, or tablet, and the data syncs itself to each one automatically.
MyNetDiary boasts a database of over 755,000 foods, including items from big brand names and fast food restaurants. This helps people to easily find out the content of what they're eating.
Regular exercise can help people with diabetes manage their symptoms.
Users are able to track and plan their intake of:
The app also allows users to track their exercise levels.
Trackers and charts are available for use, and special reports are created to help a person see how they are affected by:
- their diet
The app will also create balanced nutrition plans for users based on their healthy weight goals. It has a community of like-minded users to help keep people motivated in their weight loss journeys.
Finding the best diabetes app
There are a lot of apps on the market. Choosing the right one is a matter of understanding both personal preferences and weak points in an individual's treatment plan.
If someone has trouble counting their carbs, which is leading to spikes in blood sugar levels, a carb-counting app may be best. However, if math is not their best subject, an app which calculates their A1C for them will be a better choice.
Understanding what an individual's needs are is the number one factor in choosing an app for diabetes.