Patient Centric App Review Series
App Reviewed: Diabetes Buddy – Control Your Blood Sugar (Ver. 1.4.0)
Goals of app review:
- Determine the applicability of Diabetes Buddy as an integrative diabetes management tool for outpatient monitoring
- Assess utilization of Diabetes Buddy in key areas of diabetes management
Due to the nature of diabetes, chronic monitoring and management is vital for adequate treatment for target goals of therapy .
Often, this relies on outpatient lab evaluations alongside patient personal monitoring through self-monitored blood glucose (SMBG).
In addition, patients may benefit from monitoring and lifestyle modifications by adjusting their diet along and increasing exercise. Utilization of mobile technology may be beneficial in empowering patients in taking charge of their therapy and management of disease state, along with helping providers have access to further data to base clinical therapy decisions.
Last Updated: Oct 17, 2011
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch (Universal)
Requires: iOS 4.0 or later
Reviewed on: iPad 2
Upon opening the app, the user is brought to a screen with several different options. These include logs for: blood glucose, medications, blood pressure, activity and diet trackers, weight, and water intake. There is also an information button in the upper left corner for support options and backup.
Clicking any of the log options will take the user to a blank screen where they can input values for whatever data they enter. This can include blood glucose levels, blood pressure, an activity, medication administered, or carbs consumed. Data inputted can be adjusted by the time the recording or activity was performed.
After inputting data into the log, it is then possible to visualize it in simple graphs that can display trends. A nice feature is that the user can also specify goal levels to achieve, and see how close they are to it. This includes an ideal weight as a target goal, or even a goal blood glucose level.
While the app easily serves as a good way to display patient centric data, inputting and recording activities are time intensive. For instance, when inputting medications taken, there is no option to set up daily medication regimens and selecting when taken.
Also, if a user takes 20 units of Lantus every night, they must input this every time. This makes the work a little more intensive, which may detract users from utilizing it thoroughly. This also applies to the diet and activity/exercise options.
Lastly, of importance, is the ability to email data to providers. This can be done either by sending all data recorded over a period of time, or by sending data only related to one area (e.g. SMBG, Medications, BP). In addition, if the user desires, they may upload their data via Twitter for others to see.
However, during the course of this review, it was not possible to post data to a Twitter account and unsure if this feature has been discontinued.
Diabetes Buddy is a detailed app to log personal information in regards to diabetes management. This can then be communicated with providers and empower patients in their care. The app utilizes extensive visuals in order to help patients understand trends in care and relationship to target goals.
Evidence to Support Goals:
Similar to the previous review on Glucose Buddy, there is limited literature to support the use of mobile apps to help manage diabetes care. Of note, a study investigating patients with Adult type 1 Diabetes utilized Diabetes Buddy as their intervention was previously reviewed by iMedicalApps.
In that study, the app was utilized as an adjunctive tool to help manage patients diabetes. The results demonstrated that there was a significant decrease in A1c in the intervention group over those who did not utilize the app .
- $6.99 – Full App
- Free – Lite Version
- App has multiple logs for different areas of interest in management of diabetes
- Ability to communicate logs with providers
- Password protection of app
- High price may offset utilization
- Last updated more than 6 months ago with questionable app support
- Inputting data for activities and medications can be burdensome
- Twitter reporting does not appear to work and lacks support
What type of provider may benefit from this app?
- Primary Care Physician
- Diabetes Clinic
What type of patient may benefit from this app?
- Patients that require close monitoring of blood glucose
- Patients with type 1 or 2 diabetes
- Patients on insulin with high incidences of hypoglycemia
- Patients that can enter their personal data manually on a daily basis
- Pre-Diabetic patients who may benefit from logs on diet and exercise
- Diabetes Buddy is an overall comprehensive app for recording data relating to diabetes management that can then be communicated to providers.
- Pros – Large amount of data that can be reported and helps patients visualize their progression to goal.
- Cons – Cost may offset some users, along with inputting data may not be as intuitive as preferred. Question the supported use of this app by developers.
Diabetes Buddy may be an option for providers to utilize in practice for patients that require close monitoring of SMBG, BP, diet, and medication usage. The ability to email data may be beneficial for close monitoring. However, again like several apps already reviewed, must question continued support for this app due to the lack of updates and advise caution in integration to practice.
- American Diabetes Association. Executive summary: standards of medical care in diabetes — 2011. Diabetes Care. 2011 Jan;34 Suppl 1:S4-10. [Link]
- iMedicalApps Team. Randomized controlled study shows mobile app includes glucose control in type 1 diabetes. imedicalapps. https://www.imedicalapps.com/2012/06/randomized-controlled-study-shows-mobile-app-improves-glucose-control-type-1-diabetics/. Published June 26, 2012. Accessed July 7, 2012.
This post does not establish, nor is it intended to establish, a patient physician relationship with anyone. It does not substitute for professional advice, and does not substitute for an in-person evaluation with your health care provider. It does not provide the definitive statement on the subject addressed. Before using these apps please consult with your own physician or health care provider as to the apps validity and accuracy as this post is not intended to affirm the validity or accuracy of the apps in question. The app(s) mentioned in this post should not be used without discussing the app first with your health care provider.