Stay Safe With 4 Smartphone Apps
When you have diabetes and live alone, you may need to rely on technology for daily check-ins and help with potential emergencies, such as severe hypoglycemia. Luckily, there are a plethora of smartphone apps with features to help you feel safe in any situation. But remember: Your phone must be with you and charged at all times. If your smartphone’s Do Not Disturb feature is engaged, you will need to disable before the following apps’ alarms will work. Molly McElwee-Malloy, RN, CDE, CPT, a nurse and diabetes educator with the University of Virginia Health System’s Diabetes Education Management Program, says she’s come across a few favorite apps:
$1.99. Available on iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
Whether you program a couple hours to take a nap or a half hour for a jog, you can set alarms (down to the hour and minute) that serve as safety nets in case of emergencies. If you are incapacitated or unable to turn off the alarm, the app will automatically send an alert to preset emergency contacts. It also has a GPS feature, which can show your location to emergency contacts in case of a crisis.
The first month is free. After that, it costs 99 cents a month for self-monitoring and $6.99 a month for a 24-7 monitoring company. Available on iPhone, Android, and Blackberry devices.
Stay safe overnight by setting alarms that will wake you at certain hours. When an alarm goes off, the app displays a five-second countdown. If you don’t turn it off, the app will send an alert to your emergency contacts. In an emergency, hit the panic button to quickly call a preset contact. For an extra cost, the app will send a distress and GPS signal to a remote monitoring company. An added bonus: The alarms can also remind you to check your blood glucose throughout the day.
$2.99 per month. Available on iPhone, Android, and Windows 7 devices.
Though the primary purpose of this app is personal safety in the way of recorded altercations, it also provides GPS tracking, sounds alarms if you are having an emergency, sends alerts that prompt emergency contacts to call you, and gives quick access to call 911.
Free. Available on iPhone and Android devices.
This app, created by a mother with a type 1 daughter, allows you to document, store, and share diabetes information in real time. This includes blood glucose readings, carbohydrate grams by meal, medication dosages, and notes. It sends data by e-mail or text as soon as it’s entered. Through the app, a friend, family member, or caregiver can monitor a person with diabetes’ blood glucose readings, which can point to a need for assistance.
While apps are a great tool for staying safe when you live alone with diabetes, check out some other tips and at-home monitoring devices that may help you with your daily activities: