Top 5 Apps for Diabetes Management

Reliable and User-Friendly Smartphone Apps

Woman using iPad in kitchen
Tetra Images/Getty Images

We live in a tech-centric world, and smart phone apps have become the new tools of today. Apps can certainly make living with diabetes more manageable. However, with so many out there it can often be difficult weeding out the best. Apps for diabetes can be used to log blood sugars, count carbohydrates, lose weight, and record exercise. Some apps do it all, but you may want to use them for a specific purpose.

Please note that the apps I will be discussing may not work for everyone and you will have to use your judgment as to what app is best for you—these are my top five because these have worked best for my patients. 

dLife 

I personally love this app because it has a feature that allows you to search a library of over 400 videos on cooking demos and real life stories from real people. The app has a Q&A feature where you can search from over 4,000 questions related to diabetes—answers are provided from both experts and people in the community. The food section of the app can help with recipes and its database includes information about 25,000 foods with full nutritional analysis for your diabetes diet. If you choose to use the logging feature of the app, you can elect to share your glucose readings and insulin doses with your health care provider by emailing them directly from the app. 

Price: dLife is a free app that is available for both iPhone and android devices.

Go Meals

GoMeals is a nutrition focused app that has a wide search engine for counting carbohydrates. With over 40,000 common food items to select from and over 20,000 restaurant menu items, you are bound to find the nutrition info on the food your are eating. GoMeals allows you to customize recipes and save your favorite food searches.

You can even plug in your location and find restaurants in your immediate area, making if a great tool for meal planning. The app has recently been updated to track exercise and log your blood sugars. You can sync your result across multiple devices using iCloud. 

Price: Free. Available for Apple and Android devices.

Glucose Buddy

This app is used for tracking blood glucose numbers. The charts on this app help to discover blood sugar trends and aid in pattern management. The app features push notifications that alert you to check a blood sugar. For example: a reminder to check a blood sugar two hours after a meal. 

Price: There seem to be two versions of this app. The Glucose Buddy Pro is $6.99, Glucose Buddy (the one I am referring to) is Free. Available for both Apple and Android Devices. 

iCookBook Diabetic

From the Publishers of Diabetic cooking, the iCookBook Diabetic App is the first and only cook book you can control with the sound of your voice. The app will take you step by step through a recipe by voice command while you work in the kitchen.

Created by a team of Registered Dietitians and food experts, the app allows you to search through hundred of diabetes friendly recipes, add recipes to a meal plan, create a shopping list that you can email to yourself and share recipes with friends via social media. The app allows you to filter recipes by diet type to find gluten-free, vegan, or low-protein dishes. And for times when you may be missing an ingredient, the app provides lists of substitutions for different common ingredients. Recipes and shopping lists can be shared between devices. The only set back of this app is that it could have more recipes. 

Price: Free. Available for Apple devices. 

Calorie Count 

If you are looking for an app to help you manage your weight, then the Calorie Count app maybe the right one for you. Logging your food is a great way to stay motivated and accountable for what you eat. Calorie Count app is a useful food and exercise diary. It gives the full nutritional breakdown of thousands of foods. You can manage your calories in and calories out, log your weight, and log by voice. This app was featured in the Today Show, The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, Marie Claire, People Magazine, etc.

What’s Next in the App World? 

BlueStar

 In the near future, a new app called BlueStar Diabetes is set to hit the market. It is an FDA approved app, where patients will receive 24/7 real time coaching from a health professional. This app can be used only if it is prescribed by a licensed health professional. BlueStar is intended for patients 21 and older with type 2 diabetes and will analyze and report blood glucose test results and support medical adherence. In addition, BlueStar provides coaching messages (motivational, behavioral, and educational) based on real-time blood glucose values and trends. Blue Star reports that it is not intended to replace the care provided by a licensed healthcare professional, including prescriptions, diagnosis, or treatment.

Sources: 

Consumer Guide 2014: App Happy. Diabetes Forecast. p 40-41, January 2014. 

iCookBook. http://icookbook.com/products/icookbook-diabetic/

Glucose Buddy. http://www.glucosebuddy.com/glucose_buddy_app

Blue Star. http://www.bluestardiabetes.com/

Continue Reading