There’s an app for that? AADE 2013 Presents the Latest and Greatest in Smartphone Apps for Diabetes Management
By Hannah Martin, Nancy Liu, and Adam Brown
A round up of the best and most current apps for diabetes presented at this year’s American Association for Diabetes Educators (AADE).
This year’s 2013 annual American Association for Certified Diabetes Educators (AADE) meeting was held from August 7-10 in Philadelphia. One of the most interesting workshops addressed mobile apps for diabetes. Speakers highlighted how widespread smartphones have become (a 2013 Pew Internet survey found 56% of American adults use smartphones) and how cell phone-based programs have shown benefits for diabetes – one study found a 1.5% point decrease in A1c after six months of use. After a convincing talk on the importance of technology for diabetes management, there was a comprehensive overview of helpful apps.
Web-based Apps for Uploading Data
Diasend (Web-based): Diasend is an excellent universal online data management system for uploading data from most glucose meters, insulin pumps, CGMs and mobile apps. The system has a comprehensive list of supported products, which in the US includes eight brands of glucose meters, Animas insulin pumps, and Dexcom CGMs. When used in the doctor’s office, the number expands to 21 meter brands, seven pump brands, and both Abbott and Dexcom CGMs. Diasend also recently announced a partnership with Asante to send data from the Asante Snap insulin pump.
SweetSpot Diabetes (Web-based): SweetSpot Diabetes is an online platform that uploads and processes data from several different diabetes devices. The platform is currently used exclusively in clinics, but through a recent partnership with Dexcom, it will hopefully be available to patients soon.
Mobile Apps for Tracking
Below is a list of some of the apps discussed in the session. Clicking on “iPhone” or Android will take you to the page where you can download the app.
Diabetes WaveSense (iPhone): Diabetes WaveSense tracks carbohydrate intake, blood glucose levels and insulin doses. It also includes a notes section for users. The app was rated as the most user-friendly in a recent study. Results are easy to share and data ranges from 7 to 90 days can be shared with clinics and hospitals.
iBGStar (iPhone): This app can track carbohydrate intake, blood glucose levels, exercise, and insulin dose. It contains a notes section where people can tag blood glucose readings with notes. It can also integrate with the Sanofi iBGStar meter and records can be emailed. You can read Co-Managing Editor Adam Brown’s test drive of the iBGStar here.
dLife (iPhone): The dLife app allows users to track blood glucose levels, carbohydrate intake, insulin doses, and exercise, and includes a food database and notes section. AADE speaker Ms. Molly McElwee (University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA) stated, “I love this app” because it allows specification for exercises and insulin type. It is also unique because it has a Q&A section that links to an online support community.
Diabetes Pal (Android and iPhone): Diabetes Pal can track blood glucose levels, A1c levels, nutrition, medication, weight, and analyzes blood pressure. Ms. McElwee called this app “fantastic,” and it works with the Telcare meter with no extra entry (read our test drive in diaTribe #41).
My Glucose Buddy (Android and iPhone): This app can track blood glucose levels, medication, food, and exercise, although the drawback is that it has more pop-ups than the typical app, which may be annoying for users. However, the app has the added benefits of weight and blood pressure tracking.
Medisafe (Android and iPhone): Medisafe is an app designed to help people keep track of their medications, by creating reminders and alerting family members when the user has not taken their medication. People with diabetes represent the largest group of users on Medisafe, followed by people using hypertension and cholesterol medications. More information is in this issue’s new now next.
AADE Diabetes Goal Tracker (Android and iPhone): The AADE Goal Tracker allows users to set, share, and track their goals in seven different areas of diabetes management - healthy eating, being active, blood glucose monitoring, taking medication, problem solving, healthy coping, and reducing risks. It also contains information and resources about diabetes and self-management.
Ms. McElwee recommended a few more apps, which are condensed below:
Pancreum IOB calculator (iPhone) - calculates IOB and correction bolus
Pancreum Insulin to Carb Ratio (iPhone) - calculates insulin to carbohydrate ratio
For diabetes caregivers:
My Medtronic (iPhone) - can save pump settings, video tutorials, troubleshooting help, travel checklist, can order supplies