The modern age is defined by technology. Technology helps make life easier by providing various options to manage the day to day activities, such as healthcare through tracking and assessment. Diabetes management technology has since come a long way in making healthcare easy and accessible to all. An example to look at:
25 years ago, when people would be diagnosed with Diabetes, they would write down the blood sugar levels, diet, insulin dosage etc. in a physical diary and carry for assessment at the next doctor's appointment. This evolved into more refined computer sheets and new-age mobile applications.
Applications and technology can be a boon for people living with Diabetes. Logging data points is essential for people with Diabetes, their caregivers and doctors and apps make it simple for them. Apps can be carried to and accessed from anywhere using a smartphone, tablet or fitness wearable. They are easy, smooth, less clunky to use and one can do a lot more than one would with a pen and paper (while saving paper too!).
Blue Circle Diabetes App ·An Introduction
The Blue Circle Diabetes mobile application was designed, tested and made by a team of people living with Type 1 Diabetes who are a part of the support group and NGO for Diabetes in India, called Blue Circle Diabetes Foundation. The app has been built and developed by the live feedback of real people living with Diabetes especially in India so that it is real, relevant and truly helpful. It is an app for people with Diabetes that has been created by people with Diabetes.
The Blue Circle Diabetes app allows the user to keep a track of his or her blood sugar levels by logging his or her daily values and HbAlc (a three-month average of blood sugar). The app also allows the user to log his or her meals, exercise and insulin dosage. The app uses the meal log to send timely reminders to check blood sugar levels. It facilitates carbohydrate counting and educates the user on how much insulin is required based on the carb intake. The app allows users to share their recipes with others to help more people with Diabetes to follow a balanced diet. The app also features a suggestion box seeking inputs from the users for any new features that they would like to see on the app.
To use the Blue Circle Diabetes app, one simply needs to download the app to begin. If the user is already a Blue Circle Diabetes Foundation member, he or she just needs to add his or her email address and password to log in. For first time users, the app will ask for a sign-up as a member and would request details such as the user's Diabetes diagnosis or if the user is a caregiver, medical professional, medical representative or a donor/friend.
The Blue Circle Diabetes mobile app is available free of cost for download.The app is supported by all smartphones with the latest versions year ago) of Android and iOS platforms.
A very unique and first of its kind feature is The Buddy Project helpline. The Buddy Project is India's first app-based psychosocial, free helpline for Diabetes and mental health run by trained, multilingual volunteers with lived experience of Diabetes. This community-led, peer support system was born out of COVID 19 and the volunteers (diabuddies) are trained by
Dr Unnikrishnan AG, Chief Endocrinologist and CEO of Chellaram Hospital - Diabetes Care and Multispecialty, Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy and Indian Law Society, Pune in providing basic psychosocial and Diabetes support. The volunteers are fluent in English, Hindi, Dutch, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Telugu,
Tamil and Punjabi and are living with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes. Some of them are caregivers too. Blue Circle Diabetes mobile app offers the user free access to the Buddy Project helpline.
Log blood sugar values - For effective Diabetes management, logging data points is essential. The log data enables the physician to make an informed Log exercise - The app lets the user select any exercise from the list and record the type of exercise, minutes and date. This helps the user to share his or her physical activity log with the physician.
Post-prandial blood glucose reminder - Once the user records his or her meals and snacks, the app provides a reminder to check post-meal blood sugar levels.
Checking the postprandial blood sugar levels and correcting them accordingly may help the user increase the time when his or her blood sugar levels are in range. decision to adjust one's doses or other parameters. The home screen of the Blue Circle Diabetes app shows the average blood sugars on previous days, the time when blood sugar levels were in range, high and low blood sugar levels. The app allows users to customize their range. The usercan manually enter the blood sugar values if using a glucose meter and can also sync continuous blood glucose monitoring devices to receive updated blood sugar values.Log meals - The app allows the user to click photographs of a meal, add description and macronutrients (carbs, proteins, fats). The user can also add pre and post-meal blood sugar readings if using a glucose meter. The app automatically syncs before and 2-hour post-meal readings from the glucose monitoring device via a transmitter.Log insulin doses - The app facilitates the recording of insulin dosage. It offers different options for the type of insulin such as bolus, basal or Mixtard insulin. The app also allows editing the date and timing to enter an old record, in case the user forgets to record the dosage.
The app lets the user select any exercise from the list and record the type of exercise, minutes and date. This helps the user to share his or her physical activity log with the physician.Post-prandial blood glucose reminder - Once the user records his or her meals and snacks, the app provides a reminder to check post-meal blood sugar levels.Checking the postprandial blood sugar levels and correcting them accordingly may help the user increase the time when his or her blood sugar levels are in range.
Easy sync with glucose monitoring devices - The Blue Circle Diabetes app can be easily synced with glucose monitoring devices such as Libre or Libre Pro and third-party apps and transmitters. For Libre or Libre Pro, the user can use a bridge app called Glimp and for Miao Miao2, the user needs to install the Tomato app.
ICR, ISF Calculator - It's important to know ISF - Insulin Sensitivity Factor and ICR - Insulin to Carb Ratio to be able to
take the correct dose of insulin for meals or to bring down high blood sugar levels. The app calculates this ratio for the user based on meals, blood sugar and exercise inputs.
HbAtc tracking - The app provides estimated average blood sugar levels in a week, month and three months based on the blood sugar readings logged everJ day. People who use glucose monitoring devices can see their estimates updated automatically. For people using glucose meters, the more blood sugar readings are recorded; the more accurate would be the estimates. This feature does not replace the lab tests prescribed by a physician.
The importance of logging to get a better hold on one's Diabetes management cannot be emphasised enough. The app acts as an online diary to help the user understand his or her condition and to better manage it. The app brings together the user, the caregiver and the healthcare physician to achieve an improved quality of life with Diabetes. The app is akin to an online community for people with
Diabetes to express themselves through open conversation. Another feature of the app is the monthly campaign called Diabetes Taught Me where the users can upload pictures and videos on
Diabetes-related topic of the month. This helps people to express their thoughts and feelings among their peers.
Benefits for the doctor
There are two types of reports generated on the app - quick and detailed. Quick reports show the user's sugar readings, exercise, insulin and food for a day.The detailed weekly reports give an in-depth analysis of the past week. These reports are available
in PDF format and can be shared online with the physician. Each bar in the graph represents a day of the week and shows how much time the user's blood sugar levels are in range or were low or high. It also shows a customizable target range according to each individual's diet, exercise and blood sugar readings. This helps the physicians to get the users to take charge of their health.
Diabetes management requires regular medical care and is strengthened by emotional support from closed ones and active participation in one's health. Health tracking apps and devices help people with conditions such as Diabetes in mapping everyday changes in health parameters and then use the data to study patterns. Based on the features and benefits, one can choose a health tracking app suiting to one's needs.
Disclaimer: The Editorial Team of Diabetes Health magazine has no confl.ict of interest to disclose. We do not endorse, support or recommend any particular product, seroice or device. Readers are requested to seek medical advice before using any application or device.