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Research into Mobile Diabetes Applications

Discussion in 'Book and Product Reviews' started by ash.sparks, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. ash.sparks

    ash.sparks Researcher · Newbie

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    Good morning all,

    My name is Ashley Sparks and I am currently undergoing the final year of a computing degree at the University of Portsmouth.
    For my project, I have chosen to look into existing diabetes applications - looking to find out the views of the diabetic community on these applications.
    This is with a view to designing and producing an application with the views of the community at the heart of the process.
    My drive for doing so is the fact that my girlfriend (21) is a long-term sufferer of Diabetes and I realise the hardships people go through on a daily basis.

    Any help and/or guidance I receive from yourselves is much appreciated and will be used to drive the progress of this project.

    My initial question for yourselves is what, if any, diabetes-related applications are you currently using and why?
    If possible, please try to give an example of something you like about the application you are using as well as something you are not happy with or which you believe could be improved.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this.

    Ashley Sparks
  2. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
    Retired Moderator

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    I don't use a diabetes management app. I'm 38, and developed diabetes 25 years ago. The initial regime I was put on was a carb counting one very similar to Dafne, and I've been fortunate that that has stayed with me throughout.

    There is nothing that apps provide other than yet more admin. If my phone could be my blood glucose monitor, so I had fewer devices to carry, or even read the new Abbott flash sensors, that would be great. I don't care if it tells my clinic/GP about my bloods because that is my responsibility and not theirs, and I've been good at keeping them where they should be.

    I'm not sure what a good app for diabetes would be, but I accept that I'm not in your normal sample who you might want a response from!
  3. Loobles

    Loobles Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    I haven't found a good phone one yet, but I'm using a desktop version created by somebody here. What I like about it is that I can add my weight, BP and blood glucose measurements. Though I'd like a graph which displays my FBG and HbA1c too. I also like how this software calculates my HbA1c too (predicted, obviously) and creates graphs of my 24 and 30 day averages etc. As an engineer, I love graphs and statistics, so the more the better, but maybe if people didn't want to see so much you could allow the user to select what modules they did want to see. I'd also liked to have seen a food diary in the software I have, but there isn't one - at least some way of tracking carbs. I have loads of ideas LOL

    Oh and if it could liknk to my calendar that would be good. I could have a list of clinic appointments in one place and still have it alert through my calendar...I'd find that useful.
  4. PaulinaB

    PaulinaB Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I liked the one called mysgr (i think it's spelled that way). Stuff I didn't like: it doesn't work on my oldish android phone and has no place to record ketones.

    I use an app I wrote myself that allows me to record bg, carbs,insulin doses (meal, correction, basal), any info about the meal I may need. I'm also able to import my bg readings from my cgm and my meter (so I don't have to put them in manually).
    Thanks to all this data, I can get all sorts of stats, like daily profile, estimated a1c, standard deviation, etc, etc.

    The important part for me was to be able to easily put all information in one place.
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  5. Andy_D85

    Andy_D85 Type 1 · Active Member

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    I've recently started using the MyDario app in conjunction with the Dario meter (www.mydario.co.uk for the general product info)

    I'm really impressed with the app, the convenience of a meter that uses my phone as a BG Monitor (uses the headphone socket as well so upgrading/changing platforms shouldn't be a huge issue) is an added bonus but the app itself is what's really impressed and changed things around for me.

    • Diabetes 'profiles' - allows you to tell the app insulin types, target ranges hypo/hyper ranges etc
    • Reminder profiles - allows you to set reminder profiles for different situations, I have a 'work' and 'day off' profile as I'm more likely to forget to test on days off than I am at work
    • Analytics - shows how many of your overall readings have been 'in target' as a % when 1st loading the app, letting you know if you're having a good/bad week/month/year - also has a 'predicted' HBA1c you can access which looks to be pretty spot on from my POV
    • Carb counting/'Menu' - this is what really makes life easy, you can effectively 'google' foods and if it knows of them it will auto-load carb/nutritional details into your 'diary' for you. it also allows you to add foods/meals that you regularly eat but may not be found by searching for quick access, you can also take photo's of regularly used foodstuffs to personalise this a bit
    • Bolus suggestions - again big difference for me, it has the ability to suggest insulin doses based on current BG and also pre-exisiting 'Bolus on Board' from previous injections - something I'm not great at accounting for myself leading to dips/troughs
    • Online portal to view - as well as being able to view the readings/your day on the app itself, you have access to an online portal, linkable to your Facebook to view the logbooks on, these can also be emailed as PDFs or CSV's, something I'm finding handy for sending on results to my clinic nurses/doctors
    • Mood/Activity indicators - this one is good if visiting psychiatric sessions as part of your diabetes care, I was asked while doing this to log my 'mood' & activities for every BG Test I did - the app allows you to 'tag' & note your entries which would have supported this brilliantly.
    • You can also post individual results/entries to Facebook - it's a novelty more than a good feature but if you wanted to share your readings (like this site itself encourages you to do) then it gives you a quick option to do so
    Better If's
    • Dose suggestions - to work this out accurately it needs you to input both an mmol/L and carb based correction factor, personally I was aware of my Mmol/L correction factor but had never heard of the other one, and after 30 mins of googling I came here - where a helpful chap named 'robert72' pointed me in the right direction to work this info out. The app suggests speaking to healthcare teams but has little support on these stats to help you work it out for yourself if you don't know.
    • Menu's - overall the app's menus are clean and easy to use, however data input is limited to sliders (insulin doses/carbs/etc) so is time consuming. Also amending the aforementioned 'menu' took a bit of working out to delete things that I had either misjudged or added twice...it also cannot sense duplicate entries for that matter.
    • Mood/Activity Indicators - Whislt these are really good for me from a personal POV, they don't appear to be editable, meaning some people could find their 'mood' or 'activity' is not included - having the ability to edit the list/add emoticons to your creations could make this feature even better

    The meter itself is really slick, fits in your watch pocket of your jeans, inserts in the headphone sockets, and appears to be accurate (was within 0.1 mmol when compared to my old meter on 4 separate occasions). The app is usable without the meter, so you could in theory make use of all the features it offers whilst using another BG Meter device, but it's clearly been designed with using their meter in mind & IMO works best when doing so.

    Overall, it's convenient, it's easy to use and feature packed & has really turned my own attitudes and habits around when it comes to testing in a really short space of time, can't recommend it highly enough =)

    Hope this helps,
    • Like Like x 2
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