Comprehensive health apps for your smartphone...

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Comprehensive health apps for your smartphone...


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Old 10-09-2014, 07:20   #1
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Default Comprehensive health apps for your smartphone...

A number of us have smartphones like Apple's iPhone that include an app to track your health. Apple's version is called HealthKit and it uses the readings from a growing number of fitness trackers and from other health equipment. it will also allow you to manually enter, or micromanage, other details like your nutrition and blood glucose levels if no devices are available to measure those things.

It's both amazing and scary that we can now carry around a comprehensive record of our total health in our smartphones. I's amazing because it means that we can always provide medical personnel with a more detailed medical history than they might have but it also means that we have access to that information ourselves and gives us a sense that we have great control over our health.

On the other side, there is the fear that this information might not be entirely safe to have on our smartphones and that, by having all of that information readily available, we leave ourselves vulnerable to information theft.

With all of that said, this thread is here to open a discussion on this type of health app and what it means for us particularly as diabetics. It's also here to give more information about these apps and the devices that can be used in conjunction with them associated as that information becomes available.

To get this discussion started, I'm going to provide more information on the state of Fitbit's trackers, devices that a few of us on this forum use.

Fitbit has stated that it will not, for the foreseeable future, be integrating its tracker with Apple's HealthKit.

Fitbit says no to Apple's HealthKit for now | Macworld

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Old 10-09-2014, 10:24   #2
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I did recently look at a Fitbit app but quickly set it aside as being another place to enter too much information on a regular basis. Admittedly, I've not seen the new iPhone, so perhaps that's easier.

I find myself apprehensive about storing all that information digitally, at least here in the States.

I might change my mind if any of these had an actual, functioning and accurate carb counter!

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Old 10-09-2014, 13:58   #3
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I think you've hit the nail on the head! For us diabetics (and other carb counters), the only way we can effectively carb count (until recently) has been to micromanage our nutritional info. Sure, it's easy enough to have automatic input of fitness data from the plethora of fitness bands on the market these days but that doesn't help us manage our carb loads. Lately, I have seen a number of food scales that seem promising in that you can pop the food onto the scale and get, not only the weight, but the nutritional info of that food. See one example of these scales at the Kickstarter link below:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...utrition-scale

There still seems to be a lot of initial micromanagement with the SITU scale so I'm not sure if it's a worthwhile investment but it does tackle the biggest problem with any health app and that is... how do I get all of that information into the app without using up my entire day micromanaging all of the input.

I do use the Medical ID part of the iPhone's HealthKit app and I use the step counter as well but I know that I'm never going to sit here and start inputting my BG numbers every day.

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Old 10-09-2014, 18:11   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadiandude View Post
I think you've hit the nail on the head! For us diabetics (and other carb counters), the only way we can effectively carb count (until recently) has been to micromanage our nutritional info. Sure, it's easy enough to have automatic input of fitness data from the plethora of fitness bands on the market these days but that doesn't help us manage our carb loads. Lately, I have seen a number of food scales that seem promising in that you can pop the food onto the scale and get, not only the weight, but the nutritional info of that food. See one example of these scales at the Kickstarter link below: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...utrition-scale There still seems to be a lot of initial micromanagement with the SITU scale so I'm not sure if it's a worthwhile investment but it does tackle the biggest problem with any health app and that is... how do I get all of that information into the app without using up my entire day micromanaging all of the input. I do use the Medical ID part of the iPhone's HealthKit app and I use the step counter as well but I know that I'm never going to sit here and start inputting my BG numbers every day.
I'm in the other side of entering BG readings. Since I'm using a meter my doc doesn't have the software for I find that aspect of apples health app pretty convenient. And since my phone usually isn't too far away, an extra couple of taps doesn't seem too big an issue to pull up data.

That said, I'd like the app more if there was more flexibility or customization for data entry/retrieval. Just a graph of daily averages seems weak to me...or I just haven't figured out that part yet.

Sent from my iPhone

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Old 10-09-2014, 21:44   #5
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I have some anxieties about having all my info in one place, on the other hand, how easy for our docs. The issues for me have not much to do with steps. I don't count my steps and I don't run (gawd, I managed to propel myself into an awful tachycardia episode just by doing some vacuuming yesterday! Running is not going to happen. Ever.). What I do care about is keeping tabs on my sleep patterns (I have OSA and am on therapy for that) and my BGLs. As I've said elsewhere, I use Glooko which pulls the data straight off my meter, so I dont *have* to remember to write it down, the meter stores 400 readings so I can go quite some time without a download. My GP and endo both like to look at that, especially since they know I cant cheat However, having the glooko readings go straight to health.app, alongside sleep data, would be very useful, I think. I don't know which of the bluetooth scales will link to health.app (Withings? iHealth?) but whichever goes first will be the set I buy. My old mechanical ones are really old and in desperate need of replacement. Whichever of those sets of data gets sent to health app will also determine which I use for my BP, which my cardiologist wants to know about. Of course, I could suck it all up and get the fitbit scale and a BP machine that will talk to the microsoft health vault, but I am not sure I want all that info in the microsoft coffers, either, and sleep cycle is a lot more informative than the fitbit effort, even tho thats quite good. I've used it exclusively for 6 months now and it doesnt give quite enough of the right info.

I'm rambling. In short, I do want it all in one place and would rather risk it being stolen. My phone never gets left anywhere, and its on my person pretty much permanently except at night when its on my bedside table and serves as my alarm clock. And my doctors dont want to look at multiple apps. One at a time is fine with them, any more and they have conniptions.

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Old 10-10-2014, 10:40   #6
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Living in a land of technophobics, my first question would have to be "what's a smartphone?".

One of the first things that I had to do for my doctor when he first saw me was to explain the concept of "drag and drop" with his mouse. The software giving him access to my records had placed an information dialogue box in the centre of the screen - and he couldn't figure out how to move it out of the way.

My meter does allow (in theory) a download to a PC but since it treats a meter reading as a meter reading as a meter reading, it doesn't offer the flexibility of recording and reporting that I need. In the end, I moved to a combination of high and low tech.

I log my morning (and other) readings in a notebook. Then I manually transfer them to a database on my computer and report from that. The systems' purist in me is horrified by the duplication of data entry, the pragmatist says "it ain't broke - not going to fix it"

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Old 10-10-2014, 20:53   #7
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I have an LG G3 and I love it like a fat kid loves chocolate cake(I know, bad joke on a diabetes forum. I use Myfitnesspal, Fatsecret, MyDiabetes, Glucose Buddy, and the Accu Check 360 app. I'll probably erase Glucose Buddy because it does the same thing as MyDiabetes. FatSecret and MyFitnessPal help me a lot when ordering at restaurants.

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Old 10-11-2014, 05:00   #8
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I have an LG G3 and I love it like a fat kid loves chocolate cake(I know, bad joke on a diabetes forum. I use Myfitnesspal, Fatsecret, MyDiabetes, Glucose Buddy, and the Accu Check 360 app. I'll probably erase Glucose Buddy because it does the same thing as MyDiabetes. FatSecret and MyFitnessPal help me a lot when ordering at restaurants.
You have effectively freaked me out. I have trouble making myself enter my budget data in a spread sheet. I absolutely can't face entering my blood glucose readings from my daily notebook.

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Old 10-11-2014, 10:20   #9
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So, I'm very high tech and have software for both pump and CGM dutifully in place.

But, one won't talk to the other. There are interesting things to be found in various places, but I generally only download data if I'm adjusting basal rates or IC ratios.

My endo's office always downloads all the data first thing. What happens to it after that, I've no idea. However, here at least, any changes in condition or meds seem always to arrive at all my doc's offices simultaneously. I gather my insurer and pharmacy are somewhere in the same loop.

Judging by the mail I get from my pharmacy this is not entirely reassuring insofar as they appear to have misread my first name and gender...

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Old 10-11-2014, 14:53   #10
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Quote:
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..........

Judging by the mail I get from my pharmacy this is not entirely reassuring insofar as they appear to have misread my first name and gender...
It could be worse, like hearing your 'Used car salesman by day / Justice of the Peace by night' say during your wedding vows "Do you Mary, take Terri, to be your lawfully married wife?..." He didn't screw it up in rehearsal.

Both of us quickly saying "It's Mark, it's Mark"

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