Are mobile phone apps the way ahead for monitoring blood sugar levels?

by Barbara Hewitt on March 30, 2013

New testing equipment gives quick and accurate results

Is mobile phone technology the way ahead for monitoring blood sugar levels?

As the number of diabetics around the world moves to in excess of 300 million with further bad news in the short, medium and longer term, could technology be the key to controlling diabetes?

Over the last couple of years we have seen a phenomenal number of smart phone applications, computer programs and other electronic measuring systems released into the open market. So far the market reaction to these devices and services has been mixed but many believe that technology could be the best way ahead in controlling diabetes.

Would you use an iPhone app to measure your blood sugar levels?

There are number of iPhone applications currently available for diabetics which make it very easy to take blood sugar levels and keep a record of readings going forward. Initially there seemed to be some reluctance to take up such services as many people feel taking their blood sugar levels is perhaps a little personal for an iPhone application?

Thankfully this impression is beginning to change, slowly but surely, and more and more people are now looking towards such applications as a means of conveniently recording their blood sugar levels. Indeed there are now a number of wireless monitoring programs which bring into play blood glucose meters which will automatically relay your blood sugar levels to an inbuilt smartphone application. Why are we seeing the pickup in phone applications?

Diabetics are becoming younger in age

One theory which is gaining some strength is the fact that the average age of diabetics continues to fall and is now just over the 40-year-old level. There is a general feeling amongst many researchers that the younger generation are more susceptible to utilising new technologies, such as iPhone applications, when compared to those who have maybe not made full use of the latest mobile phone technology in the past.

Quote from DiabetesForum.com : “Does anyone use an iPhone app to keep track of there blood levels and help to remind to take medication. If so what is the best one to use that isn’t to complicated.”

Even though this argument is shot down somewhat when you bear in mind the so-called “grey pound”, i.e. those in retirement making more and more use of the Internet, whatever the reason, mobile phone applications are increasing in popularity.

Could it be down to a trust factor?

The reason for the relatively such slow take-up of mobile phone applications by diabetics in the early days could be put down to a trust factor. The truth is that anybody first to market with a particular product or a particular service is fighting a losing battle because they have nobody to compare themselves to?

It is very often those second to market, third to market, etc who will make most of the initial errors made by the groundbreaking companies. It is also at this point that we begin to see a developing trust factor, and assuming no major mishaps along the way, this should continue to build and build. As a consequence we are now seeing new applications for mobile phones released on a regular basis, wireless technology incorporated into the latest blood glucose meters and the promise of much more.

Conclusion

While it would be wrong to suggest that mobile phone applications and similar Internet-based programs are leading the way with regards to the monitoring of blood glucose levels, treatment of diabetes, etc, progress is being made. Many people still prefer the old-fashioned “pen and paper” although a recent survey by the diabetesforum.com suggested that this particular method was in decline.

It will be interesting to see whether this general growth in the use of mobile phone applications by diabetics continues and indeed where it leads us in the medium to longer term.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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