On-line Weightloss Tracking Tools to Manage Diabetes

Jackie Smith Health Guide February 10, 2010
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    I’m starting week six of laying the groundwork to get myself healthy. I have been eating better and less, exercising, taking my medications and testing (well, more often than before) and that’s a lot to keep track of! As any type 2 diabetic knows, there can be a lot of data to log – all a part of keeping your calories counted, miles walked, and blood sugar balanced.

    If I wasn’t a compulsive list maker, I would never been able to do this! I have tried good ol’ pad and pen and web-based applications and these days I am all about entering every detail of my life into my iPhone. Why not all things diabetes related?

    As it turns out there are, quite possibly, a jillion diabetes management applications for iPhone and iPod Touch users.

     

    First, let me touch on the other keep-you-healthy apps I’ve been using:

     

    Lose it! – In my quest for weight loss I’ve downloaded this app and I’m very happy with it! It’s free and once you enter in how much weight you want to lose, it’ll tell you how many calories you can eat each day in order to reach that goal.  You input food you’ve consumed (found via a searchable database) and exercise you’ve undertaken that day, ultimately falling below or above that calorie line. However, it’s impossible for every food choice to be in that searchable database - so there’s room to lie to yourself. Did I mention that it is FREE?

     

    Couch to 5K – Part Two in my quest for weight loss, I’ve chosen the app version of the well-known Couch to 5K program to track my fitness progress. By the way, I consider something running related “well-known” if I, an avid non-runner, have heard of it. This one is $2.99. This system is based on a series of 30-minute interval workouts to be done over the course of 9 weeks. The app description says “culminating in your ability to run 5 km (3.1 miles) without stopping or walking.”

     

    I’m in week five and let me tell you, they are optimistic. They have more confidence in me than I do! This is kind of nice, actually. What is also nice: the calm female voice that prompts me when to run and when to walk and when the workout is over. Her unworried tone belies my wheezing and flushed face.

     

    These two apps are a great beginning, but now I need to look at iTunes’ diabetes-focused offerings. I have found a plethora of app options and these look to be the most frequently commented upon:


    Glucose Buddy, developed by oneAppOneCause
    Average rating from App Store users: 3 1/2 stars

    Price: Free

    Diabetes Log, developed by Distal Thoughts
    Average rating from App Store users: 3 stars
    Price: Free

    Islet – Diabetes Assistant, developed by iAbetics

    Average rating from App Store users: 3 ½ stars
    Price: $2.99


    Diamedic, developed by Nicholas Martin
    Average rating from App Store users: 3 ½ stars
    Price: $5.99

    WaveSense, developed by AgaMatrix
    Average rating from App Store users: 3 ½ stars

  • Price: Free


    From initial research, it seems like most of these applications let you not only input blood glucose numbers, meds taken, etc. but also activity and meals.

     

    I like lists and all but do I really want to input my data in Lose it and 5K AND whatever diabetes app I choose? If I don’t then any analysis offered by the diabetes app won’t be accurate, will it? Can you export data and create reports? What about graphs? I like graphs. Can I share the data with Dr. Z if she has an iPhone too? Is there such a thing as a meter that can sync with desktop software that in turn syncs with the iPhone? Ideally the meter would already have your blood glucose data and you wouldn’t have to manually enter it into the app. Can you export the meter data somehow?


    Have you tried any of these applications and what was your experience with them?