Mobile Help for Diabetics

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Mobile apps have become helpful tools for diabetics who must monitor their blood sugar levels daily.The mobile age is here to stay. By now, you’ve probably succumbed to the lure of owning a cellular phone just like millions of others. Not only can you take that cell phone with you wherever you go, but you can also stay connected to the Internet.

Doing your grocery shopping? Not sure if a so-called “healthy” box of cookies is good for you? Instantly scan the barcode and read the reviews. Have a sore back? Wondering where the nearest registered massage therapist is and whether or not they have an opening? Click a map icon and all the clinics are at your fingertips with contact numbers ready. Or maybe you’re walking with your grandchild and they suddenly do something adorable. Just click the camera icon and snap away with an eight mega-pixel camera. Cell phones are truly an amazing feat of technology.

Your mobile phone can do even more than that: now you can use it to check your blood sugar. That’s right: just download an application, or app. This is a helpful tool for those with type 2 diabetes who must monitor their blood sugar each and every day.

Researchers from University College London recently investigated if online programs could help diabetics to better manage their condition and improve their symptom outcomes. Part of the appeal of online tools aimed at managing diabetes is that there is little to no cost for the patient or the healthcare system. And, of course, as was already touched on, cell phones can’t be beat when it comes to getting instant access to information on the go—no driving to the healthcare clinic needed!

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To determine if computer-based software applications are helpful in any significant way, the research team reviewed how different programs performed in a number of different areas. The programs that were most effective offered feedback, advice, reinforcement, help with goal setting, and what the researchers called “patient decision support.” Mobile apps were more effective at helping people with blood glucose control than using computer-based interventions.

This is definitely something to look into if you monitor your blood sugar day in and day out. Get this extra support and carry it around with you—it may be just the motivation you need to keep managing your diabetes and to stay as healthy as you can.

Source(s) for Today’s Article:
Pal, K., et al., “Computer-based diabetes self-management interventions for adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus,” Cochrane Database Syst Rev. March 28, 2013; 3: CD008776.