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Diabetes Forecast

The Healthy Living Magazine

Diabetes Apps

12 on-the-go health tools for your smartphone

By Tracey Neithercott , ,

Diabetes App Innovators

Pam Henry
Tom Xu
Matthew Tendler

If you have a phone and a chronic disease, chances are there's an app for what ails you. Not sure what to download? Consider these popular apps, which are free, unless noted.


Blood Glucose

Diabetes Pal
Even if you don't have a Telcare blood glucose meter that wirelessly sends test results to this app, you can take advantage of Diabetes Pal by manually entering your blood glucose readings. The app also logs your medicine and food, allows for note-taking, and—with what is probably the greatest draw for users without a Telcare meter—plots data on a line graph, pie chart, and bar graph. The downside: Text in the logs can be a bit small.
For: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Glucose Buddy
This comprehensive diabetes app lets you record, annotate, and graph your blood glucose level, medication doses, food eaten, and exercise. Browse and post to the Glucose Buddy forums from your phone or view your data on the Glucose Buddy website. Notifications remind you when it's time to check your blood glucose.
For: Android devices, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch


Caregivers

Blue Loop
Consider Blue Loop a hub for caregivers of children with diabetes. Parents, doctors, and other caregivers can update a child's information—with, say, the most recent blood glucose reading or lunch time carb grams—which the other caregivers can view in real time. Customizable text messages remind kids of diabetes-care activities and alert parents when a child has taken action.
For: Android devices, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Glucagon
Caregivers can prepare to aid you in case of severe hypoglycemia with Eli Lilly's Glucagon app, which includes an illustrated video on how to inject the medication, storage tips, and drug information and indications. You can also note your kit's location and expiration date in the app and set a refill reminder.
For: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch


Fitness

Charity Miles
Exercise does a body good, but with this app you could put your workout to even better use. Pick one of nearly a dozen charities, click whether you plan to run, walk, or bike, and get moving. The app tracks your distance, and the Charity Miles company enlists sponsors to be able to reward your chosen charity with a donation for your hard work.
For: Android devices, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Zombies—Run!
If your workout is sorely lacking in the fun department, download this entertaining fitness game that combines exercise training with a zombie story, your own music, and directives—for instance, "Run faster, a horde of zombies is approaching!" Your distance, speed, duration, and other data sync with an online site where you can view stats and graphs. The app costs $3.99 on Android and $7.99 on the iPhone (and other Apple devices) and Windows Phone.
For: Android devices, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Windows Phone


Kids

Carb Counting With Lenny
Kids with type 1 diabetes can learn to carb count via Medtronic's simple app. They can browse photos of common foods to learn how many carbs are in each or play a "does this food have carbs?" game to rack up points.
For: Android devices, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch


Nutrition

GoMeals
Using a plate graphic and bold colors, this app can help you visualize how well you're meeting your daily nutrition needs. Log foods using a comprehensive database that includes more than 40,000 common foods and over 20,000 restaurant meals, view nutrition facts, and see what percentage of your current calorie intake is from carbohydrate, fat, and protein.
For: Android devices, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Fooducate
This app aims to improve nutrition choices by providing a thorough look at the foods you eat. Search for foods or scan bar codes to get a comprehensive profile, including nutrition facts, tips and notes, a health grade, and even the percentage of other Fooducate users who like a food. With one tap, get a list of healthier options or add a product to your shopping list.
For: Android devices, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch


Medications

MedSimple
This app makes keeping track of your medications, well, simple. Add prescription and over-the-counter meds, doses, and frequency as well as prescriber and pharmacy information. Set alerts to remind you to take your meds or refill a prescription, and learn about possible savings on prescription drugs.
For: Android devices, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch


Weight Loss

Calorie Counter
Store all of your weight-loss data—including food, water intake, exercise, and weight—in one place with this extensive app. Journal meals by searching the large food database, logging by voice, scanning the bar codes of packaged foods, or saving favorite meals for easy logging later. The app provides a detailed look at a food's nutrition facts as well as a breakdown of nutrients. The Calorie Counter forums and a Facebook-like feed with other dieters' updates make for a social experience. The app costs $3.99 on Android and Apple devices.
For: Android devices, BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch


Well-Being

Sleep Time
Researchers know sleep and diabetes are intertwined (for a new study on the topic, see "Catching Z's," p. 18). Monitor and analyze your sleep patterns on your phone with Azumio's app. Just rest the phone beside you on the bed during the night and Sleep Time will use your phone's accelerometer to note nighttime movements and graph the amount of time you spent in the various stages of sleep. For wake-up time, users set a 30-minute window and the alarm sounds during their lightest sleep, so they awaken feeling more rested. The app costs $.99 on Apple devices.
For: Android devices, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

 
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