Finding it hard to remember to log your blood sugar levels? Want a central place to store your data? For people with diabetes, technology can take out the guesswork. Read on for the latest in apps and other gadgets...

The best diabetes management is by the numbers: blood sugar readings, insulin doses and grams of carbs you’re consuming. That can overwhelm any diabetes patient. Technology can help. 

About 26 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). There’s no cure, so it’s crucial that people with diabetes deal with it daily. The more data they collect, the better their management of the disease.

Patients who use apps often feel more knowledgeable – and empowered – to battle the diabetes. Apps put information at your fingertips. Plus apps may help better communication with your doctors, increased physical activity and get you more motivated.

How to choose an app
Useful apps for people with diabetes fall into different categories. Some focus on nutrition, exercise, or collecting, crunching and sharing glucose readings. If you’re diabetic and overweight, you might want apps that concentrate on calorie counting or exercise. If you have trouble keeping track of blood glucose readings with pencil and paper, you might try a meter with wireless transmission or an app that logs blood glucose readings from your meter to your smart phone. 

Here are the top 11 recommendations and popular choices among people with diabetes.

1. iBGSTAR
Works on: iPhone, iPod Touch
Cost: Varies, $65-$75. A prescription isn’t needed for the system, but some insurance plans cover the app’s cost if a doctor prescribes it. Check with your physician.
What it does: This innovative blood glucose monitoring system combines an app and blood glucose meter about the size of a USB drive. It connects to the iPhone and wirelessly transfers blood glucose readings from the meter to the phone. No need to manually record the data. The system also allows you to record carbohydrate intake and insulin doses. You can add tags to indicate when readings were taken – for example, before a meal or after exercising – and add notes. The data, which can be emailed to medical professionals, is presented as a trend chart, logbook or statistics. The trend chart creates a graph showing blood glucose readings over time, allowing users to spot trends and take appropriate measures. The logbook is a detailed record of blood glucose readings, organized by tags. For example, a user can view all readings tagged “post dinner.” The statistics view provides an average glucose reading, standard deviation and total number of tests for seven, 14, 30 or 90 days. The app can also be used with other meters.

2. Glooko
Works on: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Cost: The logbook app is free, but requires a Glooko subscription, which, including a USB cable, is $59.95 per year.
What it does: The Glooko Logbook app and MeterSync Cable downloads readings from your blood glucose meter – it works with several (see below) – to your smart phone. You can also create an electronic logbook and send the data to your physician. Compatible with 32 blood glucose meters, including: Bayer’s Breeze®2, Bayer’s Contour®, FreeStyle Freedom Lite®, FreeStyle Lite®, OneTouch® Ultra®2, OneTouch®UltraLink®, OneTouch®, UltraMini®, Accu-Chek Aviva (black), Accu-Chek Aviva Nano, Accu-Chek Compact Plus (black), Accu-Chek Nano

3. The CalorieKing Calorie Counter
Works on: Android and iOS
Cost: $49 a year.
What it does: This multitasking app lets people with diabetes quickly track calories, carbohydrates, protein and fiber. You can compare the nutritional value of foods from a database that includes information about 70,000 foods, 260 restaurants and fast-food chains. The Calorie King is also a book and interactive website. We recommend that people buy the book.

4. GoMeals
Works on: Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Cost: Free
What it does: GoMeals tracks your meals and nutritional intake for as long as 30 days. It includes a nutritional information database on about 40,000 foods and more than 20,000 menu items. Diabetes patients can use the restaurant locator to find a nearby restaurant, search menu items and learn about calories, carbs and fats in a selected dish.
5. MyFitnessPal
Works on: Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, Windows Phone
Cost: Free
What it does: This multi-device app – suitable for people with diabetes who aren’t particularly savvy smart phone users, Aponick says – helps you manage weight and exercise, both of which are important for lowering blood sugar levels. MyFitnessPal’s calorie counter, diet and exercise journals take the guesswork out of eating and exercise.

6. Carb Counting With Lenny!
Works on: Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Cost: Free
What it does: This app teaches youngsters carb-counting skills. Featuring a friendly, smart cartoon lion named Lenny, it offers games and other educational activities to help children understand nutrition. A food guide highlights healthy food choices and portions. Though aimed at children and young adults, the app may appeal to parents, who might find it useful to help keep a kid with diabetes on track.

7. Glucose Buddy
Works on: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Cost: Free
What it does: iPhone users rank this as the No. 1 diabetes app. With it, you can log blood glucose readings, medications, food intake and activity. You also can tag readings and make notes. Glucose Buddy’s charts and graphs will show trends in your numbers. An alarm can remind you when it’s time to log again. The app syncs your phone with an online account at Glucosebuddy.com, where you can manage your data. On the website you can even estimate your blood sugar level for the past 2-3 months, although the app makers recommend that people with diabetes take the HbA1c lab test, which is usually administered by a doctor. The makers caution that their estimator is “mathematic estimation,” and may not be as accurate as a blood test.

8. Fooducate
Works on: Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Cost: Free
What it does: With a simple phone scan of a product’s bar code, this app serves up all sorts of nutritional information: 1) A letter grade telling you how good the food is, factoring in your personal profile and 2) Pros and cons of the food and a list of comparable products. The goal is to help you make healthier food choices.

9. dLife Diabetes Companion
Works on:
iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad
Cost: Free
What it does: This app does it all. You can use it to manage and share data: blood glucose readings, carb intake and medications. You can also access 900 healthy recipes and nutritional information, watch dLife videos and find expert answers to your questions in a database. dLife Diabetes Companion is the work of dLife Foundation, a non-profit whose goal is “to promote education and motivation for people with diabetes.”

10. Telcare Wireless Blood Glucose Meter
Works on: MyTelcare.com, Android, iPhone
Cost: The Telcare Blood Glucose Monitoring System Starter Kit is $149.95 without a contract, $99.95 with a contract.
What it does: This meter uploads readings online for storage and analysis, without needing a special cable or cell phone. The patient, doctors and family can see the results any time – and act if necessary. For example, a mom can check a child’s readings when he’s at school, or a health professional can offer personalized coaching. The data can be tagged and graphed.

11. Care4Life
Works on: Phones with texting ability
Cost: Health-care providers usually offer this service, so check with your provider.
What it does: Care4life reminds users via daily text messages to take medicine and blood glucose readings or get in a workout. Paula, a virtual coach, also sends text messages. Paula’s messages “help you learn about diabetes and support you through your journey of healthy living,” according to the Care4Life website. Users can track progress, change message settings and learn more about diabetes on a personal web portal.


Now that you have an app…Use it until you get comfortable with it. Stay informed on new developments. App makers often offer software updates that fix problems or improve functions. If the app has a user forum, join the conversation to get useful tips. And remember that new diabetes apps and other technology hit the market daily. check your app store regularly.

Copyright Sports & Wellness OP 2016