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Choosing the right app for you

There’s an app for everything these days right?

Most people now carry a library, TV and computer around in their pockets in their mobile phone, as well as the calculator that all of our teachers told us we wouldn’t always have with us.

But what about when it comes to your health? Millions of people worldwide use some form of health app on a daily basis. These range from simple apps to track steps, to apps that support with healthy eating, fitness and health monitoring.

There are thousands of healthcare apps, and hundreds of diabetes apps, available in the different mobile app stores, so knowing which ones can help you can be quite tough. When deciding what app or apps to use, some of the things that you may want to consider are:

  1. What you want the app to do for you or help you with
  2. Whether your diabetes healthcare team recommend any specific apps
  3. How easy the app is to use
  4. If you want to share the data in the app with your healthcare team, how easy it is to share

What can diabetes apps do for you?

Studies show that the most commonly used functions of diabetes apps are:1

  • Diary for tracking blood glucose levels
  • Tracking meals and carbohydrate intake
  • Calculating insulin doses
  • Monitoring glucose levels with CGM

Real world analysis of the impact of diabetes apps in day to day life shows that using diabetes apps, particularly those with game functionality incorporated, can increase motivation and engagement.2 This increase in motivation generally leads to more frequent blood glucose monitoring, which in turn can help to reduce average blood glucose and HbA1c as well as reduce your risk of hypo and hyperglycaemia.3 An app that encourages more frequent blood glucose monitoring, can also help you to improve your self-care and develop a healthier lifestyle.1

Does your healthcare team recommend apps?

The best way to find out what apps your diabetes team recommend (if any) is to ask them. Having a chat with your healthcare professional about the options available in your next appointment is a good place to start. You could even do some research into the kind of apps you’d like to use beforehand and take it with you.

How easy are the apps to use?

Reading reviews and social media posts from users of the apps is a good way to get an idea of how easy they are to use. Otherwise, the best way is really to try them yourself. A number of the apps available are free of charge and this means you can download them and have a look around to see if it gives you what you want.

What about the data?

For some people, being able to extract the data from their diabetes app is important so that your healthcare team can see the data easily. Some apps make it very easy to get the data out in a format that can easily be sent to a healthcare professional via email.

You should always choose the diabetes app that is right for you. If know what you want and do your research, you will be able to make an informed decision.

If you weren’t already aware, mySugr is now a part of the Roche Diabetes Care family. If you would like to know more about this diabetes app, you can read more here

The views expressed in the Accu-Chek blog are not necessarily those of Roche Diabetes Care Limited or our publishers. The content is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely – you must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content. Although we make reasonable efforts to ensure that the content is up to date, we make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content is accurate, complete or up-to-date.

References

  1. Kebede MM & Pischke CR, Popular Diabetes Apps and the Impact of Diabetes App Use on Self-Care Behaviour: A Survey among the Digital Community of Persons with Diabetes on Social Media. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 2019;10:135 https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2019.00135
  2. Rose KJ, Konig M & Wiesbauer F. Evaluating success for behavioural change in diabetes via mHealth and gamification: mySugr’s keys to retention and patient engagement. 6th Annual International Conference on Advanced Technologies & Treatments for Diabetes (ATTD), 2013 [https://mysugr.com/static/assets/downloads/science_and_research/attd-2013-poster.pdf, accessed February 2020]
  3. Debong F, Mayer H & Kober J. Real-World Assessments of mySugr Mobile Health App. Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, 2019;21(S2):35-40 https://doi.org/10.1089/dia.2019.0019

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8 June 2020