Wake up. Check blood sugar. Eat breakfast. Check blood sugar. At lunchtime, drag out the test kit and check blood sugar before and after eating. Repeat at dinnertime, and once more before bed for good measure.
This is a day in the life of diabetics who follow the recommended protocol for diabetes management. And that’s exactly why many individuals fail to keep their blood glucose levels in check.
For the 29.1 million Americans living with diabetes, staying healthy doesn’t have to be inconvenient. By combining diabetes technology and mobile solutions, healthcare companies are coming up with new ways for diabetics to manage their disease and live full, happy lives.
A Costly American Epidemic
Diabetes is a serious but manageable condition in which an individual’s body doesn’t produce enough insulin to convert glucose (a type of sugar) into fuel. Instead of getting to cells, glucose remains in the bloodstream.
Uncontrolled blood glucose levels increase the risk of stroke, heart disease, kidney failure and serious infections, making diabetes the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., according to a 2014 study by the American Diabetes Association.
This comes with a high price tag — both in terms of quality of life for individuals, and increased healthcare costs for employers. The total cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. tops $245 billion, including $176 billion for direct medical costs and $69 billion in reduced productivity at work.
Many of these costs can be avoided with proper blood glucose management.
Three Mobile Solutions for Diabetes Management
For diabetics, proper nutrition and medication adherence couldn’t be more important. But in order to keep blood sugar levels in check, diabetics must know what those levels are throughout the day. That’s why various diabetes technology companies are enabling diabetics to manage their condition through the mobile devices they already carry wherever they go.
Below are three mobile solutions for diabetes management:
Individuals with Medtronic insulin pumps and continuous glucose meters can now access data from these medical devices via the Samsung S Health mobile app. Patients, their loved ones and their healthcare providers also receive remote alerts when glucose levels spike or drop, and can quickly adjust care plans.
WellDoc, a leading digital healthcare company, has launched its BlueStar technology on Samsung mobile devices. The FDA-approved product requires a prescription from a doctor and provides real-time data and coaching to people with type 2 diabetes. Healthcare providers also receive the data to aid in clinical decisions. The Samsung Digital Health platform collects and integrates health information from patients’ smartphones and other personal health devices. The platform also provides an easy-to-use mobile dashboard to keep diabetes management front and center.
This unified platform for diabetes management lets individuals sync diabetes devices and fitness readings to their mobile devices. With one glance at their Samsung smartphones, patients see how certain foods, activity levels and insulin intake affect blood glucose levels, and they can use this information to make healthier choices. Meanwhile, healthcare providers can access a streamlined version of this data to inform care plans on their Samsung tablets.
The more individuals with diabetes know about how the disease affects their unique bodies, and how certain dietary choices affect blood sugar levels, the better they can keep diabetes in check and stay healthy. These three mobile apps are bringing that insight directly to these individuals’ hands.