I’m borrowing the words from one of my favorite movies of all times (***do you know what it is??? answer at the end of the blog!). In the world of diabetes management, anything that makes living with diabetes better and easier is worth putting on my favorite things list.
Apps that help track nutrient intake and exercise
While not specific to diabetes, noting how much you eat, the timing, and balance of nutrients, can make an impact on your BG (blood glucose) management. There are a few really nice apps in this category that are easy to use.
MyNetDiary Maximum – allows tracking of all food, water & exercise and allows you to set targets for weight loss/gain/maintenance. It works with a comprehensive web membership that includes blood glucose and cholesterol tracking. The searches in the app include a bar code scanner for packaged foods and an extensive online database (including restaurants).
Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by Myfitnesspal – enables tracking of all the same items as MyNetDiary, but doesn’t include the ability to log glucose or cholesterol. This is a very user-friendly app which allows you to create recipes for favorite meals/dishes and also has a bar code scanner for packaged foods. This app syncs with an online account so that you can access your data regardless of where you log in.
Apps that help with tracking diabetes data
All of the following apps are great in their own way. I list several options because everyone is a bit different in their tracking/logging and reporting/charting preferences. My recommendation: Try each one and see what works best for you.
dbees.com is an app for the iPhone and iPod touch. It allows you to customize/track the meds you use, doses, and times of day for your usual diabetes management activities. It applies to all types of diabetes. The program produces graphs and charts for easy analysis. One of the nicest feature of this app is that it functions in many languages, including English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Polish.
SiDiary6 – With this app you can track all of your diabetes data (i.e. blood glucose levels, ketones, carb intake, injected basal and/or bolus insulin or pills, blood pressure, weight etc.) on your mobile device and/or on your Windows-based desktop computer. SiDiary gives you graphical feedback about the quality of your diabetes management. In addition to several average statistics (insulin, carbs etc.), it calculates an estimated A1c value. Unfortunately, it tends to underestimate the true A1c because most BG values entered are before meals, so you’ll still need to hit the lab quarterly (or have your A1c done with a fingerstick next time you’re at the Integrated Diabetes Services office for $24 – what a deal!) SiDiary can replace your diabetes (paper) log book but it cannot tell you how to handle your diabetes – that still rests squarely on your shoulders.
iBGStar Diabetes Manager (also called “WaveSense”) – Convenience is the best word to describe this App, which also works with the iBGStar BG monitor on the iPhone 4. The iBGStar meter can stay attached to your iPhone 4 or iPod touch so you can carry around one less device. The monitor automatically syncs your data with the iBGStar Diabetes Manager app. The app offers tracking of BG readings, carb intake, insulin doses, BG tags (for example, mealtimes and exercise), integrated data management with graphs, and the ability to share data with your family or healthcare teamright from the app.
MySugr Companion (I didn’t spell sugar wrong!) – If I had to pick a favorite, it would be this one. Diabetes can be a troublesome and annoying monster. This app comes with motivating and fun companions help tame the monster: the Companion App for big people with diabetes, and the Junior App for the little ones.The app performs like a typical diabetes logbook, but with a few key differences: It provides immediate feedback and helps you stay motivated. You win points for every entry made, which helps you tame your diabetes monster. The goal is to tame your monster every day. Challenges are available to help you set and attain personal goals. You also have the option of naming your diabetes monster! Data can be sent from the app via PDF file to a person of your choice – doctor/nurse/caregiver.
Apps that help you find a deal
LowestMed Mobile — With the cost of medications and supplies rising and insurance coverage waning, it’s always nice to find a deal. This is a discount prescription service that shops for the lowest price for prescription medications. Enter your prescribed medication, and the app tells you (and shows you, via GPS), the pharmacy with the best deal on that prescription.
Apps that help you count carbs accurately
Carbs&Cals – Get a visual guide to counting your carbs with the revolutionary Carbs and Cals App. Packed with over 2,500 food and drink photos and lots of exciting features, it is the ultimate visual guide to carb counting and portion control. Thumbnails provide a very easy comparison of up to 6 portions of each food. Simply tap the one closest to the portion on your plate to reveal the larger photo and carb count. A multiple wheel is available to change the number of items you are eating – such as with crackers or slices of bread. Foods can be added to a meal, and the total carbs and calories are calculated and displayed at the bottom of the meal. A user can add his/her own foods to a meal, along with custom values for name of the food, nutrient values and weight of the food.
CalorieKing Food Search — Need a quick and easy way to count carbs? This Database is America’s most popular. It contains over 70,000 foods and includes 260 fast food chains and national restaurants. By tapping on a specific food, you can quickly access more detailed information including protein, fiber, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, and of course, CARBS. Counting carbs isn’t always easy, but with this free app the information is just a tap away.
Apps that provide a reminder
With so many things that have to be done on a schedule when you have diabetes, it’s nice to have “backup” so that you don’t forget.
GoVenture Insulin Timer – This app reminds you when to refill the insulin in your pump, change infusion sets, or do other repetitive tasks. Conventional timers and scheduling programs are too clumsy to manage. This app allows you to reset a recurring event as it happens by tapping a button. When an alarm triggers, a notification message is displayed on your phone/tablet. You can then reset or snooze the alarm with the tap of a button. Need to change infusion sets every 3 days? Need an insulin refill every 4 days? No problem – 3 timers are included to make it easy for you to manage multiple reminders for the same insulin pump or multiple insulin pumps.
*** The Sound of Music!