I’ll bet that anyone who likes gadgets will fall in love with the Track3. Many gadget lovers will even use it because it can be a useful addition to our diabetes armamentarium.
For starters, you can think of the Track3 as a pocket size electronic calorie counter. It really fits in a pocket, because it’s about 4.75 inches tall by 3.75 inches wide and a half an inch thick. It weighs just 4 ounces.
My wife suggests that I take it to a doctor’s waiting room, the sort of place that I have been going to a whole lot lately. I’ll do that, but I also intend to use it a lot at home.
You and I can use it to keep track of not only the calories we consume, but also how many we burn when we exercise. You can also use it to log our blood glucose readings and the insulins or oral medications that you take.
The Track3 lets you look up nutritional information for more than 35,000 foods, including 250 restaurants and 500 food brands. It can calculate nutrition content, including calories, carbohydrates, fiber, protein, fat and sodium for individual foods and for recipes. You can also add 1,000 new food items and meals and personal exercise information, as well as create a handy list of your favorite foods.
It includes a USB cable and software so you can download your data to a PC (but not to a Mac). Then you can print it out or email it to your health care team.
A startup in Pleasanton, California, named Coheso Inc. manufactures and markets the Track3, which lists for $59. They aim their other product, the CalorieSmart, at weight loss. I didn’t evaluate it, but it seems to have fewer functions while listing for the same price.
Full disclosure: I consulted for this company almost two years ago, when it was just getting off the ground. I didn’t remember ever hearing about either product, and so I just checked with Coheso President Ratna Nirkondar.
“Most of our discussions were focused on the management of diabetes in general and the issues we all face managing it,” she replied. “We did use our discussions with you to create some of the report formats, especially the one with log of all entries.”
Under the circumstances, the report formats are surprisingly good. In general I find the Track3 to be completely intuitive and fully explained in the short and sweet users guide.
In the brief setup for the Track3, one of the first things that I realized is that I don’t know my daily goals or targets for total calories, carbs, fats, fiber, sodium and protein. So the first good thing that getting a Track3 did for me was to give me the necessary push to set these goals.
The keyboard is surprisingly easy to use, especially considering the small size of the device. And it has all the necessary keys.
The only things that I could see that it lacks is a table of glycemic index values. But for the next few years I won’t expect anyone to build that into a device, since researchers have calculated these values for only a relatively small number of foods so far.