San Francisco Bay Area resident Patrick Totty writes about his experiences living with type 2 diabetesSee all posts »
10 Nifty Diabetes Apps
In 1987 I was researching an article about a young man who was making big waves in San Francisco commercial real estate. One day as I was interviewing him he asked me to accompany him on a walk to a client’s office several blocks away.
He was one of the first people in town to use a mobile phone and he let me hold it and even make a call as we were walking. (I called my wife and she was duly impressed when I told her I was talking to her from a sidewalk in the Financial District.)
The thing looked like a squared-off plastic log with an antenna sticking out. It weighed about 5 pounds, and the charger/carrying case that cradled it probably weighed another 6 or 7.
My interviewee probably had paid $4,000 for the privilege of lugging the thing around. Yet for all the money he paid to be able to avoid public phone booths, it could only do two things: make or receive a phone call.
Fast forward 25 years and almost anybody can buy a superbly engineered miniature telephone for $200 that allows him to connect to the Internet, tweet, Skype, talk, play games, stream movies, and download music.
Best of all, there are now thousands of apps—cheap downloadable software programs that can do everything from online bill pay to teach you how to speak Urdu.
For people with type 2 diabetes, there are a large number of smart phone apps that can help them track their meds, blood sugar levels, foods and calories consumed, and weight.
Some apps only work with iPhones or iPads, but as the Android system becomes more popular, app makers are accommodating almost every make of smart phones. Also, many work with a Mac or PC, so there’s choices for almost everybody.
Ten of the most popular apps from big pharma companies are listed here. This is nowhere near a comprehensive list. To see what else is available, just Google “diabetes apps” or “free diabetes apps.” You’ll find links to loads of reviews and information.
Many apps are specific to a particular brand, which isn’t surprising—diabetes product companies can’t stay in business if they don’t sell their goods, and apps are one way to keep them in our consciousness.
Still, anything that takes advantage of smart phone capabilities to make tracking BG and other numbers easier is a positive thing.