TECHNOLOGY TO HELP YOU Stay on track with DIABETES:

People who manage their diabetes are faced with many challenges. They have to deal with food restrictions, exercise goals, medications to take, and work and family responsibilities. They also have to deal with doctor visits and frequent lab tests, and, of course, measure their blood sugar (glucose). As health care professionals, we encourage and teach our patients to partner with us to actively interpret the personal data collected on a daily basis and respond accordingly.

Now that internet technology is available to most of us, there are more powerful ways to stay informed about diabetes and find new ways to stay on track.

In this section, we will talk about a few of the many options you may choose to make the task of home blood sugar monitoring more efficient and effective. Some of these tools can also help you to increase your understanding about the risk of diabetes complications and alert you to reduce your risk.

APPLICATIONS (APPS)

GoMeals™, a new iPhone application (app) designed by sanofi-aventis, is designed to help people living with diabetes make healthy food choices. You can download it at the iTunes App store. This is a food-tracking device. It enables you to search thousands of foods and dishes from popular restaurants and grocery stores. Nutritional content of the meals and snacks is displayed. GoMeals™ can be used by anyone who wishes to monitor the nutritional content of their meals, though it was designed for patients with diabetes.

I downloaded GoMeals™ to examine the features. With “Today’s Plate,” you can monitor your daily calorie intake, along with the amount of carbohydrates (carbs), proteins, and fats. The data is shown in a pie chart. The nutritional information comes from the CalorieKing™database, which contains more than 200 restaurant menus and over 25,000 common food items. A restaurant locator is included and offers a nice resource for people on the go. This app is free.

From the HealthCentral.com Web site, I found this list and some of the commentary (abridged):

  • Glucose Buddy, developed by OneAppOneCause URL: http://www.oneapponecause.com Price: $5.99 (currently offered for free) The application lets you enter and analyze statistics for blood sugar, medicine, and food values. You can also enter activity values. Data graphing and e-mailing of the information is available.
  • Diabetes Log, developed by Chris Ross URL: http://www.distal.com/diabeteslog/index.html Price: Free This App offers multiple languages besides English: Dutch, French, German, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.
  • Islet 2.0, developed by iAbetics URL: http://www.iabetics.com Price: $2.99 (currently on sale for $0.99) Islet 2.0 lets you enter glucose, insulin, food, and exercise data. It offers graphs with high, average, and low values on an hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly intervals.
  • Glucose-Charter, developed by Dr. Lee Konowe URL: http://glucose-charter.com Price: $0.99 Blood sugar recording is complemented with a food database to assist in dietary selections.
  • Diamedic, developed by Martoon URL: http://www.martoon.com/diamedic/ Reviews: 30 Price: $5.99 Diamedic Diabetes Logbook lets you record every blood sugar reading and insulin injection.

INTERNET RESOURCES AND WEB SITES

In addition to the Power of Prevention Web site (www.powerofprevention.com), there are many helpful educational resources on the Web that can help you to stay informed and manage your diabetes. Some of these are as follows:

  • http://www.calorieking.com/ This site was developed for those looking for a weight-loss tool. However, it can also be used not only to look at total calorie content of foods, but also to look at carbohydrate content, fat content, and salt (sodium) content. It even has brand-name product contents as well many restaurant meal contents. It is free, although it is also available for downloading to a PDA for a fee. http://www.diabetesincontrol.com/ This site has weekly updates on newly published research, newly published reports on drugs, and national meeting highlights pertaining to topics related to diabetes diagnosis, care, and management. Free.
  • http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/ A resource sponsored by the National Institutes of Health for information about diabetes and its complications and conditions. Many links to other Web sites related to diabetes, even to Web resources in different languages. Free.
  • http://diabetes.webmd.com/ A very patient-friendly resource for questions about the diagnosis, management, and treatment of diabetes and various diabetes-associated conditions. Contains questionnaires that can help you understand if symptoms might be related to a diabetes condition, and when to discuss these with your health care team. Information also available about pre-diabetes. Includes videos of patients with diabetes discussing their diabetes. Additional links to other health care information. Free.
  • http://www.diabetes.org/ Information about the diagnosis, management, and treatment of diabetes. Contains detailed information about meal choices and healthy foods. Has a link that allows for review of diabetes support groups available in your specific location. Free.
  • http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/ A resource sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that contains information pertaining to diabetes in general, but also how to prepare for natural emergencies and disasters if you have diabetes. It also explains the importance of vaccines and provides information for caregivers of those with diabetes. Some information also available in Spanish. Free.

This information is provided to you from public domain resources, and represents just a handful of potential tools to assist the patient with diabetes improve their care and long-term prognosis. None of this is designed or intended to diagnose, treat, or recommend specific advice for any patient. AACE strongly recommends consulting with your doctor and health care team before using any of these tools.

Dr. Victor Roberts is a partner with Endocrine Associates of Florida, P.A., in Winter Park, Florida. Dr. Roberts is a Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Central Florida; Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Florida; and Clinical Professor of Clinical Sciences, Florida State University. He is also a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and Medical Director of Endocrine Clinical Research. Dr. Roberts is a volunteer member of the Central Florida Medical Reserve Corps for disaster relief and is a member of The Best Doctors in America and Top Doctors.