I am currently on vacation. You may recall that I travel to Ithaca, New York for a one week learning vacation at Cornell University to educate the right side of my brain with non-science information. This year I am attending a "film masters" course and viewed five films (as homework prior to the class) and now am learning why or why not I enjoyed them by analyzing the technical aspects of the film (editing, cinematography, screenplay, direction, and acting). I am thinking technology (science...again) and decided to write about diabetes applications and smart phones. I have always been fascinated by gadgets that apparently think for themselves (I know, not true) and have embraced this form of technology personally and professionally. One of my patients during the last year demonstrated an iphone application by which he recorded his diabetes related information and noted patterns. I loved the concept and so today, I thought I would discuss the many types of applications that are available for your mobile device.
Basically, it appears that there are three types of applications available: tracking, databases, and communication with the healthcare provider. They come with the ability to alarm, and allow for insertion of blood sugar results, carbohydrate counts, and insulin amounts. Some allow you to communicate these results to your healthcare provider. Do NOT forget that you also have the ability to download your glucose meters to your computers at home and then relay that information to your healthcare provider. My parents and kids are always asking for information about cables for downloading.
Cables for Downloading
Cables allow you to connect the data in your meter to a blood sugar software program in your computer.
- LifeScan Interface Cable (for use with LifeScan Blood Glucose Meters with data management capabilities) and the OneTouch Diabetes Management Software v2.3 are available at Drugstore.com for $29.99.
- The Bayer Ascensia Data Cable can be purchased online for $29.95 or for $49.95 with the Ascensia WinGlucoFacts Data Management Software.
For more info, visit: DiabetesNet.com
Upon review of several sites: American Diabetes Association, Children with Diabetes and The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation as well as through a Google search, I found a website that documents nearly all available diabetes related programs for smart phones.
According to the website, there are at least 50 diabetes related applications in the iTunes store (I actually counted - as of 7.21.10: there are 171 apps, though not are all specifically related to diabetes per se and may relate to diet, exercise, and gender groups. Most of the iTunes software cost money, although some provide a free trial period up to two weeks.
Examples of iPhone applications include:
1. Wavesense diabetes manager which tracks glucose, insulin, carbohydrates consumed, and insulin dosages. Several of my patients have downloaded this software. They have not routinely brought the printed results to our office visits. To my present knowledge this software is free.