Managing diabetes is a time consuming task that requires good memory and math skills for counting carbohydrates, calculating medication doses and tracking your daily glucose levels. With everything diabetes patients have to keep track of, it can be easy to forget blood sugar check or miss a daily dose.
Fortunately, it's never been easier to manage diabetes with all the techs and gadgets we have at our fingertips. In the first place, there are numerous applications for smartphones and other devices that can help patients keep their diabetes in check.
These apps are usually multifunctional and can help with various tasks, including carbs counting, tracking blood sugar levels, helping with medication management, providing nutrition advice, while some of the apps can also help parents manage diabetes in their children.
Many of these diabetes mobile apps are available for free, while some offer both paid (Premium) and free versions. Many choose paid versions because they usually offer more advanced features and options, but users might find what they need in free apps as well.
No matter what kind of app you decide to use, remember that apps cannot replace your doctor. They can be no substitute for regular doctor visits or medical advice.
Here on SteadyHealth we already reviewed one of those apps called mySugr app, which is a 'freemium' app for Android and iOS that that helps diabetes patients track their daily habits in order to manage their diabetes more efficiently.
The app we review today is Diabetes Kit app, a logbook for diabetes patients owning an iPhone helping them track their glucose levels, carbs, medications and activity.
Upon initial startup, the Diabetes Kit app will offer you to register an account, but that's completely optional. You can use the app without registration.
The app is available as both free and Premium. If you decided to use the app for free, you'd have basic options, i.e. ability to track daily steps and add entries to your log, including glucose levels, medications, carbs consumed and vitals. Purchasing Premium unlocks additional features such as reminders, offline mode, generating PDF reports, and so on.
Diabetes Kit has very nice design, which is visually appealing with pleasant color palette, fonts, and layout. It opens to a Home screen that features summary of your activity, i.e. the number of steps you took today along with your daily step goal.
Below, there is a section with daily and weekly logs, which will be empty until you start adding entries. You can do that by simply tapping on plus symbol that opens several options that could be logged and tracked, including blood pressure, A1C levels, weight, food, glucose and medicine you take.
Tap on any of these options and fields for entries with simple keypad will be displayed. Beside numeric entries for each log, users can also add events, which basically only cover meals (before and after).
The current time is shown by default, but users can change the date if they want to add past logs. Also, notes could be added for each log, which could be useful for tracking aberrations, for example glucose spikes where you can blame that piece of cake and a doughnut in the note.
Once added, all entries will be displayed in Logs section, but this isn't implemented in convenient fashion. Basically, the app lists entries individually one on top of the other, not grouped. For example, if you want to count today's calories, you might have trouble navigating from breakfast to snack to lunch, with all blood glucose and medication logs you made between your meals.
The app doesn't count calories or carbs, or help you calculate your medication dosage. You need to do that by yourself.
So what's the Trends section for then?
Here you'll get a few nicely done graphs to see your blood glucose trends and averages, including a pie chart showing what percentage of your readings have been high, normal, or low, with lowest, highest and average results. There are also charts for hourly and daily averages. Users can choose to show the today's readings, as well as for last 7, 14, 30, or 90 days.
Trends section also shows activity stats, i.e. step goal met and not met, with activity totals for selected period of time.
As you could see, Diabetes Kit app only allows logging and tracking of blood glucose levels as well as activity, i.e. daily steps.
The good thing about this is that the app allows users to export the data to an Excel .csv file and email it to themselves or their provider.
Another good thing is that you can connect Diabetes Kit app with iPhone's native Apple Health app, which seems to be a major part of Diabetes Kit app's interface.
The things I didn't like, beside lack of option to track calories and medications, were inability to look at graphs based on any time frame outside of the last 7, 14, 30, or 90 days, as well as the lack of information on how the app calculates the BG averages, i.e. the algorithm it uses.
Also, I wasn't sure how the 'step' part is supposed to work. My guess is by counting the steps you take while walking around. But, here it stayed at 0, despite I walked around and connected the app with Apple Health.
If you plan to use Diabetes Kit app to manage your medication dosage and use, keep in mind that it could be cumbersome with its current layout, especially knowing that there are no reminders until you purchase Premium version.
Finally, Diabetes Kit app is available only for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, but not for Android.
If you're looking to use certain mobile app for your diabetes logbook and tracker I'm sure there are better solutions than Diabetes Kit app. Although you can add nutrition, medication, vitals and weight, the app only allows you to track blood glucose and activity (steps), which makes it limited solution for diabetes patients.
Benefit: Diabetes patients who need simple tracker for their blood glucose levels might find it useful