8 Apps to Improve Your Time in Range
Diabetes apps like Glucose Buddy, eddii, and Happy Bob can be useful tools to monitor and improve blood glucose measures, including time in range.
Apps can be useful tools to monitor and improve your diabetes management, including your time in range (TIR). By tracking glucose levels and other variables, health-focused apps can provide information and suggestions that could lead to improvements in time in range.
Here are some apps that can help anyone with diabetes stay informed, better understand their health, and you reach their goal of staying in range. If the concept of utilizing apps seems daunting, remember that you don’t need to use every single one; all you need is the one that best suits your needs.
It’s worth first tracking glucose levels and time in range with one of the continuous glucose monitor (CGM) apps such as the Dexcom G6, Dexcom G7, the Freestyle Libre 2, or the Medtronic Guardian app if you haven’t already. In addition, know that the following apps track, analyze, and, in some cases, share glucose levels so that you always know where you are and can make appropriate adjustments to increase your time in range.
In addition to being an app, Glucose Buddy bills itself as an comprehensive diabetes management service: that tracks blood sugar, daily steps, exercise, and meals, provides weekly reports, and offers suggestions to improve glucose levels. Cost: Monthly plan costs range from about $18 per month for personalized coaching, performance reports, and A1C estimates up to $60 per month for a plan that also includes a smart glucometer, lancets, and more.
This German app can track blood sugar, meals, bolus insulin, basal insulin, correction insulin, basal rates, exercise, medication, blood pressure, moods, and notes. Data is exportable as a PDF to share with healthcare providers. Cost: The app is free but includes the option to upgrade for an additional $2 per month, $17 per year, or $27 permanently if you want premium features such as daily reminders, custom time frame reports, daily metrics and premium user support.
This popular app allows you to track blood glucose, carb intake, medications, meals, step count, and more, which is probably why it has surpassed 4 million registered users. It can sync data from Accu-Chek blood glucose meters automatically, estimate your A1C, allows you to share data with healthcare providers who are on the RocheDiabetes Care Platform, and can sync with Apple Health and Google Fit. Cost: The basic version of the app is free, but there’s an option to upgrade to a pro version for access to PDF reports, a search function, automatic reminders, and more for $3 monthly or $28 annually.
Bulgarian-designed Diabetes:M is both an app designed for people with diabetes and prediabetes as well as a software platform for healthcare professionals that allows providers to track your progress in real-time. In addition to logging glucose, insulin, and medications, Diabetes:M (which also has an Apple Watch app) integrates with external food databases, and you can import data from a variety of sources, including mySugr, Glucose Buddy, Accu-Chek, OneTouch, Medtronic, and more. If you’re anywhere other than the US or Australia, you can even utilize a “bolus advisor” that makes insulin dosing calculations that factor in exercise, sickness, insulin on board, and more. Cost: The basic version of Diabetes:M is free, and premium subscriptions, which cost $5 monthly, include ad-free content, the ability to export PDF and XLS reports, and an expanded food database, among other things.
The idea of this app is simple: Snap photos of your meals, auto-sync your blood sugar data, and better understand your blood glucose response patterns and how specific foods affect your TIR. The app automatically combines continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) or glucometer data with photos of meals eaten throughout the day to generate insightful graphs to share with healthcare providers. Cost: The Undermyfork app is currently free to download and use.
This forthcoming app is designed to engage children with type 1 diabetes to not just track their blood glucose numbers through partnership with Dexcom but also have fun in the process thanks to mini games, additional rewards that parents can build into the app, and the ability to add friends in-app. While eddii has not yet been released, you can sign up to be notified when it launches. Cost: The app is so new that details on cost are not yet available.
This diabetes management app tracks blood glucose, weight, insulin intake, exercise, food intake, and devices all in one place. In addition to being free for users, it also seamlessly syncs data with an exhaustive list of third party apps (RunKeeper, Strava, FitBit, Apple Health) as well as diabetes devices (just about every glucose meter and CGM imaginable). Cost: The Glooko app is currently free to download and use.
8. Happy Bob
If you struggle to stay on top of numbers and find humor to be a good motivator, then Happy Bob could be the ideal app for you. You can customize your diabetes buddy Happy Bob to different moods and personalities: there’s “Happy,” “Snarky,” and “Karen,” among others. “103: Look at you! Who’s a good pancreas?” Happy may say to you, while Bob’s alter ego Snarky might alert you with, “186: Ok Captain Carb, why don’t you slow down and correct course!” Bob’s Karen mood offers a know-it-all attitude with a foul mouth: “185: My neighbor’s cat has diabetes and she never goes this high,” she might say.
The Happy Bob app is also a useful workaround for anyone wearing a Dexcom G7 and using an iPhone; it offers a widget on the home screen, while the Dexcom’s G7 doesn’t have one yet. Cost: Try Happy Bob for a week for free; after that, a subscription costs $10 monthly or $60 yearly.
In addition to diabetes-focused apps, other apps can track different factors that influence diabetes management and time in range. Learn more about diet, exercise, sleep, and mental health apps that can help you improve your overall health.
Photo credit: iStock (top); Happy Bob/Instagram (bottom)