People with diabetes need reliable information if they are to gain control over their condition. Diabetes apps can be helpful in that regard.
The best diabetes apps accept input from a variety of devices including blood glucose monitors and insulin pumps, and then process the data to identify things like trends in blood glucose levels.
Below our health experts have compiled a list of the 16 most important benefits of diabetes apps.
16 Benefits Of Diabetes Apps
Diabetes apps are a potentially powerful tool in the fight against blood glucose issues. Below are the primary benefits of using a diabetes app.
1: A diabetes app can help you control blood glucose levels.
The main goal of diabetes treatment is to get a handle on blood glucose levels and prevent dangerous peaks and valleys. Numerous things can affect blood sugar levels, including diet, the amount of exercise a person gets, a lack of sleep, and more (1). A diabetes app can help you monitor these and other metrics so you can gain control over your blood sugar levels.
2: A diabetes app can help save your eyesight.
Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in more developed countries. It occurs when out-of-control blood glucose affects the light-sensitive layer (the retina) in the back of the eye. A diabetes app can help you monitor blood sugar, diet and exercise levels, and keep blood glucose under control, thereby helping to save your eyes.
3: A diabetes app can help you control your blood pressure.
According to researchers, if you have diabetes you are twice as likely to also have high blood pressure (2). So it follows that things you do to control your diabetes will also help control your blood pressure. That includes eating healthy, low-salt foods, exercising, and limiting alcohol consumption. A diabetes app can help you monitor all those things.
4: A diabetes app can help prevent heart disease.
Diabetics are more likely than non-diabetics to suffer heart disease and stroke (3). High blood glucose levels eat away at the integrity of blood vessels, increasing the risk of stroke. So, maintaining a strong, viable cardiovascular system is essential. A diabetes app can help you monitor and control blood glucose levels, dietary intake, cholesterol, blood pressure, and more.
5: A diabetes app can help fend off the need for dialysis.
Over time, high blood glucose levels cause damage to the kidneys. This is a dangerous development because your kidneys help filter and clean your blood. When kidney damage becomes too severe, people with diabetes require dialysis (4). A diabetes app can help you control your blood sugar levels and potentially fend off the need for dialysis.
6: A diabetes app puts more information at your fingertips.
Because they are integrated into smartphones, diabetes apps can make more information available than a simple blood glucose meter ever could. They can create easy to read charts based on historical data, provide dietary or blood glucose-related warnings, enable real-time sharing with your doctor and interact with fitness apps, and more.
7: A diabetes app may help reduce the amount of insulin you need.
The amount of insulin a person with diabetes requires is not necessarily etched in stone. With proper food management and exercise, it is possible to reduce the amount of insulin you need on a daily basis. Losing weight is another way to reduce the amount of insulin required. A diabetes app can help on all these accounts.
8: A diabetes app ensures accurate data.
It is not unusual for vital diabetes information to get lost when it is written down. Perhaps the person’s hand was shaking at the time they were writing, or there was a simple error in transcription. Whatever the reason, studies have shown the handwritten records are not as accurate as those created automatically by electronic data exchange (5).
9: A diabetes app can help reverse prediabetes.
With prediabetes, a person experiences higher than normal blood glucose levels but has not yet lapsed into type 2 diabetes (6). Some people think type 2 diabetes is an inevitable consequence of prediabetes. But that is not the case. A good diabetes app can play an important role in helping to get your blood sugars under control and preventing prediabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes.
10: A diabetes app lets you share information with your doctor.
All the best diabetes apps allow you to share information with your healthcare provider. No more having to hunt down a fax machine or wait until you see the doctor in person. A couple of clicks and you can send relevant data to your doctor’s office so they can stay up-to-date on your condition. If your doctor has an online patient portal (7) you can share the information through that as well.
11: Diabetes apps are continually evolving.
Like most other technology, diabetes apps are not standing still. They are being continually refined, updated, and added to with new features emerging with each new iteration. They are also becoming more and more integrated with a host of related technologies, including insulin pumps, CGM systems (8), insulin pens, and more.
12: A diabetes app is free.
So many things are so expensive today. But a diabetes app is not one of them. Most diabetes apps have totally free versions that are nearly as good as their pay versions. With these free apps, there is no setup fee, no fee for using the app, and no fees involved in linking it with other health-related apps. It is one of the few exceptions to the rule that ‘you get what you pay for’.
13: A diabetes app will work on your smartphone.
As long as you bought your smartphone in the past five years, you will not have any problem installing a diabetes app. Most developers also provide tablet-friendly versions of their apps.
14: A diabetes app can remind you to test your blood sugar.
It is all too easy to forget to monitor your blood sugar on a regular basis. But that monitoring is vital if you are to bring your blood glucose levels under control (9). Many diabetes apps provide you with the ability to program in reminders to test. You can schedule a test every 30 minutes, hour, two hours, or more, and the app will produce a reminder beep when it is time to test.
15: A diabetes app can take information directly from your blood glucose monitor.
The blood glucose monitor is an essential tool in helping diabetics control their blood sugar levels. Many new blood glucose monitors can be linked directly to your smartphone and the data uploaded into your diabetes app. This allows for a more timely and accurate transfer of information that can lead to a better understanding of blood sugar trends.
16: A diabetes app can make helpful suggestions regarding your optimal blood sugar range.
Just as important as knowing your blood glucose level, is knowing what your optimal blood glucose range is. After all, you cannot determine if your glucose levels are high or low if you do not know what they should be. A diabetes app can use historical data to determine what constitutes the best range for you.
A diabetes app can help you gain better control over your blood glucose levels. That, in turn, can produce an array of benefits including better eye health, and reducing or eliminating the need for dialysis. Diabetes apps are convenient, free and will work on any smartphone.