Diabetes as a life style altering disease has and still changing many people lives who are diagnosed with it, It require serious life style changing and continuous monitoring, testing and treatment. It's exhausting for patients to keep track of everything, including checking is the food is healthy or the patient or not, keep tracking of the medications, and blood sugar regular testing. Well there are many tools as mobile applications, desktop software help patients to manage, track and monitor their health condition related to diabetes, even some are provoking the patients to get regular exercises and compete with other fellow patients in form of gamification social platform, very similar to Facebook, Twitter.
As those apps are built with intentions to help the diabetic patient, Some of them focus on tracking and logging others, are built to help the patient manage his life activity, medications and lifestyle. Successful diabetes applications are built to manage the daily tontine of the patient as they are more centred on patient's activities as well as life style improvement. Some apps are providing social support as sharing stories, parameters and status with other patients, which may provide other preceptive while dealing with such life altering disease.
What the patients are looking for in their Diabetes related App?
- The apps are targeting diabetic patients are loggers, assistant and managers. However patients often look for certain tools and features to help them manage their diabetes and often those features can empower the patient experience of complicate it regarding to the complexity of the presentation of those features/ and tools. So what are those features and what do they manage?
- Logging diabetes related records, blood sugar test records, medication
- Tracking medications, alerting,
What do they manage? And How those features interact with the diabetic patients daily activity?
Diabetic patient routine is :
- Managing diabetes medicine
- Regularly testing blood sugar
- Getting regular exercises
- Eating healthy food
So most of the apps are aiming to manage those daily activities, but beyond that many apps are connected to Blood Glucose Monitoring Devices , integrated with other health/ sport related apps and platforms as A apple health, and Fitbit ,Ease the follow-up for the doctors to follow-up on their patients and provide save informative feed for the patients activity, healthy food, medical advices.
There are different features of the diabetes assistant applications with dozen of features, so here we classify the applications to help the patients find what they need.
- Trackers/ Loggers
Trackers and Loggers are apps built to help patients keep track of their records, including vital signs, blood sugar level records. Those type of apps are very useful especially when sharing the recorded data with the doctors to give them insights, it's also very useful to provide the patient with overview of their daily records.
- Managers/ Assistants
Managers or Assistants are built to help the patient manage their disease, They include features like alerting, notification, recommendations and charts. They often tend to provide managing tools for the patient activities.
- Social features
Some Diabetes applications provide social features to help the patient manage their disease within social layout which gives the patient the supportive community, as well as continuously updated news/ activity stream to keep them updated with the most recent news.
- Simple user Interface :
Diabetes management app is a daily to use app built to be used every day , the user interface should be simple and overall comfortable enough to be used daily. With easy access to the features, settings.
- Privacy & Security:
Security and Privacy are necessity in those apps, patients has to make sure the application is providing the security features to be able to use the app.
- Backup & sharing:
Backup is often considered an option for most applications, and some consider it a paid feature so as sharing, exporting a report or sharing records. However I consider them basic requirement to be able to use the app and make it worthwhile for the patients
1- Glucose Buddy Diabetes Tracker
Glucose Buddy has been released as a platform for patients to manage their diabetes since about 10 years, It supports different platforms as iOS app for iPhone, Android App, and Desktop version. It features daily tracker, insights with notification/ alerts, and active community, within very simple user interface usable for long range of users with different experience. Glucose Buddy is a free app with very useful features, but many other needed features need to be unlocked as they transfer completely to subscription model. The app is getting updates and improvements regularly. It supports Apple Health integration.
- Logging : blood glucose, medications, meals
- Activity tracker
- Data exports
- Custom management Tags
- Advanced charts
- Automatic A1C calculator
- No Ads
- More integration with other apps/ tools
Price : Free with subscription model.
iOS/ iPhone app : yes
Android : yes
Integration : Integrated with apple health
Rating : Glucose Buddy has many positive feedbacks and overall high rating 4.8, 8.6K Ratings
First release 2012
2 - Diabetes Pilot
Diabetes Pilot is focused on desktop version, they have released their commercial diabetes managers for Windows and Mac OSX. They are providing iPhone and iPad versions as well. They have created version for PalmOS and Windows Mobile as they were the lead before the new smartphone era started. They are offering those versions for the old customers with limited support. Diabetes Pilot does not support android, but in the other hand it provides iPad version called Diabetes Pilot HD. There are 2 versions of Diabetes Pilot on iTunes Appstore, Diabetes Pilot Pro which is the new version its free but offers In-App Purchases. And Diabetes Pilot which is paid version ( costs about $29 ). Diabetes Pilots for Windows, Mac are commercial software, it costs ( $29.99 for Mac OSX and $34.99 for the Windows version ) but they offer trial versions.
- Logging blood glucose, medication, meals, blood pressure, weight, with notes.
- Simple UI ( user interface )
- Synchronisation between mobile and desktop versions
- Diabetes safe Food database and recipe
- Food scanner logger using barcode
- Analysis charts and summary logs
- Reporting via email
- Exporting data
- Estimate your insulin for meals and correcting high glucose.
- Estimate your HbA1C
- Records categorization and filtering
Platforms : iPhone, Android, iPad, Windows , MacOSX, iPad, iPod
Price : Paid desktop app for Windows, Mac OSX and subscription for the iPhone edition
3-Diabetes Pal : for Mac / iPhone
Diabetes Pal is a desktop program for Mac OSX as well as iPhone/ iPad app, Its full-featured app, with clear and easy to use user interface, It allow importing data from many diabetes test devices, and sharing the data cross multiple devices. Diabetes Pal is free form Mac OSX but offers in-app purchase, which is quite the same for the iPhone and the iPad version.
Features of Diabetes Pal :
- Logging : Blood sugar, Insulin, Medication, Food, Carbs, Blood pressure, Plus, Ketone , HbA1C
- Reporting with graph and informative summary
- Importing data from different devices
- Sharing data across different devices
- Native programming/ User interface for Mac/ Apple.
- International units
- Data Sync between Apple devices
- Data Sync iCloud/ Dropbox
The Free version and the paid version :
Though the app is free with all the features, it offers limited number of entries in the free version, and limited Sync functionalities
Note : Diabetes Pal for Android devices at Android PlayStore is not related to Diabetes Pal mentioned up.
4 - mySugr: Diabetes Tracker Log
mySugr is a smartphone app for diabetes management and tracking, It provides 2 apps for iOS/ iPhone and Android devices. It focuses on motivating the patients by providing them with very good challenges in gamification ready stream , It features Apple Health integration. As some features are locked in the free version it's available with subscription, as many apps are adapting the subscription model, as Export feature, and alerting is locked in the free version. Some locked features are very necessary features as searching logs entries and reminder management.
Platforms : iPhone, iPad, Android
Rates and Feedback : Rated as #66 in Medical 4.7, 1.9K ratings average at App Store and Playstore with very positive feedback in both markets
5 - One Drop
One Drop is a complete set for diabetic patients as it has One Drop Chrome which is a Bluetooth blood glucose monitor that syncs with one drop mobile app which they have released it for both Android and iOS, and supports Apple Watch as well. One Drop is more data oriented as it utilizes the data science to help the patient manage their diabetes. One Drop app is very simple and easy to use for patients with low IT background, as it features easy to read and understand reporting, 24/7 chat with Personal Coach to help the patient through their decisions.
One Drop Subscriptions :
One Drop is subscription-based service, sold as package with their Bluetooth glucose monitor chrome". One Drop has announced that they are donating 10 subscriptions for every subscription sold.
- Alert and notification
- Apple Watch integration
- Chat with coach
One Drop has gain popularity since it was released as it has very high rates, as well as positive feedbacks from the users on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store