A couple of years ago, the only options to track our blood glucose online patient with diabetes had available were the ones offered by glucose meter manufacturers. If you have had diabetes for a while now, I don't need to tell you most of these tools are fairly limited in the kind flexibility they give you, which hopefully makes the focus of this two-part article useful.
Earlier this month, I discussed the best iPhone applications for diabetes. In this article, I discuss a couple of the tools currently available to help you track your blood glucose data.
Cost: Free for most of the major features, if you don't mind seeing a few ads. The premium account starts at $9.95 per month but comes down in price if you choose recurring subscriptions for 6 months or 1 year. The subscription can be cancelled, deleted or downgraded back to free at any time.
Perhaps one of the most popular tools, it has evolved since its introduction in 2007, balancing very well ease of use with very detailed graphs, statistics and trends to help you manage your diabetes. The graphing ability offered for sugar, med, food and activity data is pretty impressive. Data entry doesn’t fall behind: SugarStats supports data input using your web browser, mobile phone, email and Twitter.
Besides offering multiple entry points, SugarStats lets you share your blood sugars data through multiple widgets they offer, so you can show off your enviable numbers on your blog. Also, you can befriend other SugarStats users which lets you view their blood sugar data and leave them encouraging comments.
Cost: Free for 30 days. $9.99 per month, thereafter. You can cancel your account at any time. If you are not satisfied with the service, they offer a full refund.
SweetSpot has an approach centered on building a team around you, as a patient and it does a great job at it. The site lets you keep a notebook where you can jot notes to share with your team. It also offers a very useful Tips section that works a bit like Digg, with SweetSpot users voting on the most popular tips.
When it comes down to entering data into SweetSpot, you can add blood sugars manually, via Twitter or email. But you can save yourself some typing, fetching data directly from your meter. Glucose meters from the OneTouch, Freestyle (Abbott) and Ascencia (Bayer) are supported, but you need to get yourself the data cable to communicate the meter with the computer.
Both platforms are very solid and equally impressive and useful. They are there for you to use, but you need to be consistent entering or fetching data for them to give you their full value.
Next time, I will discuss more online tools to help you track your blood glucose data: HealthEngage, Log For Life, GlucoSurfer, Diabetic Days and Project Diabetes.