Affecting roughly 9.3% of the population in 2012 and listed as the seventh leading cause of death in the US, diabetes cannot be ignored. Diabetes requires time, and close management of one’s condition, to stay as healthy as possible. The following apps were selected based on their potential to help people manage diabetes. Many of the apps listed below are free or have premium features that are inexpensive (less than $9.99). These apps were chosen based on their availability, pricing, ratings, relevance to diabetes, and how well maintained the apps are on both iOS and Android platforms.

Diabetes App Highlights

Diabetes Pal: Free

Available: [iOS] [Android] | Score 4.0/5.0

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When it comes to tracking and analyzing blood glucose, Telcare’s app, Diabetes Pal, is often one of the first apps recommended. The recommendation comes with good reason: the app works and it works well. The interface is simple, yet intuitive. The development team went to great lengths to streamline the app, now in its second version. Diabetes Pal is similar to Diabetes Companion, considering the amount of logging and tracking features they share, but it does not offer the distractions of having a game-like interface. Diabetes Pal is one of the simplest and most easily understood methods for recording the data important to patients with diabetes. Diabetes Pal does not need to be used in unison with a Telcare blood glucose meter, but if used, it will synchronize with, which is an FDA-cleared and HIPAA-compliant cloud server, ensuring users’ data are secure and that they also have the most up-to-date information on their smartphones. In addition, Diabetes Pal offers annotations for log entries, trend graphs, and reporting functionality free of charge.

Screenshots Taken With an Android Device:

Fooducate: Free

Available: [iOS] [Android] | Score: 4.3/5.0

Fooducate, Ltd. developed Fooducate [iOS] [Android], an app that provides patients with the ability to log their daily food intake. After logging this information into Fooducate, the app will then begin to provide information on the quality of meals, the nutritional values, and also alternatives to what the user might be eating or planning on eating. Fooducate also monitors the intake of starches and sugar, and provides weight loss tracking and the ability to scan item labels to determine the real nutritional value of the food. The scanning functionality also offers warnings about controversial food additives that may not be listed on the packaging of the item. If an item doesn’t appear when scanned, Fooducate will prompt the user with instructions on how to submit an item for addition into their catalog.

Once an account has been created, the Fooducate home screen appears. The essentials for nutrient and label tracking are immediately available. Food-related news is streamed daily within the app, providing users with important information such as food safety, GMO status changes, and more. There are also 2 sets of premium features available: gluten and allergy screening and the pro version. Gluten and allergy screening provides users with additional information that is available when a search for a food item is performed or when scanning food labels. With the pro version, weight loss plans such as low carb, heart health, and nutrient tracking are made available. With either premium purchase, advertisements are removed. Fooducate is a full-featured and easy-to-navigate app with an intuitive interface that can be of use to most anyone.

Screenshots Taken With an Android Device:

Glooko: Free

Available: [iOS] [Android] | Score: 4.3/5.0

Glooko is changing the management of diabetes by merging technologies and bridging the gap between patients and providers. Glooko allows diabetes patients to connect their glucose-reading device to their iPhone or Android smartphone and synchronize the data to be stored on the phone or in the cloud. This is useful because the data can be annotated and shared with their health care providers and viewed online. With the annotation feature, a patient can add notes for specific entries, such as what was eaten that may have affected a reading. Additional features include a log book, a built-in food database for nutritional information, logging of carb values, note taking, and more. Glooko is FDA 510(k) cleared, meaning submission was made to the FDA and that the device is at least as safe and effective as, or is substantially equivalent to, a legally marketed device. Glooko is also compatible with 22 FDA-cleared meters and 15 Android devices.

Screenshots Taken With an Android Device:

Diabetes Companion: Free

Available: [iOS] [Android] | Score: 4.7/5.0

Diabetes Companion by MySugr was created by patients with diabetes for patients with diabetes. This app takes a different approach to the management of diabetes by trying to make it as engaging and entertaining as possible. It differs from others by its unique ability to play with the “diabetes monster.” By offering a game-like approach to managing diabetes, the app offers each user the ability to name and tame their monster companion. The taming of the monster is achieved by using points that are earned from various activities the user performs. Patients can earn points by logging data, staying in their respective blood sugar ranges, or just by being physically active. The more points received for these activities, the better chance the patient has of taming the diabetes monster in both digital and real-life incarnations. Diabetes Companion also offers the ability to export data in a variety of formats as reports. These reports could be forwarded to a medical provider.

Screenshots Taken With an Android Device:

These apps don’t replace a doctor, but they do provide patients with a means of dealing with diabetes and sharing important information, such as spikes and irregularities in blood sugar levels, with their physicians. Smartphones are the most carried device, and by using them to offer more intuitive solutions to problems, we can lighten the burden of conditions such as diabetes without overly burdening our pocketbooks.


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