Being diagnosed with diabetes can be overwhelming. Since there's no cure yet, you need to accept the fact you'll live with it till the rest of your life. That also means your life will be turned upside down, because diabetes requires a significant changes in your lifestyle.
By learning how to put your diabetes under control you can significantly reduce your risk of developing serious health problems associated with this condition. While it doesn't have to be a full time job, you do have to be aware of it 24/7.
For this purpose, many diabetes patients use logs or diaries - usually traditional "pen and paper" method - that help them track blood sugar levels, calorie intake, medication use, and other activities that help them stay mindful of their diabetes.
A lot of these logs and diaries are now available for download on mobile devices, which makes the diabetes awareness and management significantly easier.
mySugr app developed by Austrian-based company of the same name, is one of the mobile logbooks that provides diabetes patients with a comprehensive method to track their daily habits in order to manage their diabetes and maintain their health.
This app, available for both Android and iOS in Free and Pro versions, allows users to track their efforts in really innovative way, by earning points they use to "tame the monster," which symbolizes an effective day of diabetes management.
The app is primarily designed for patients looking to estimate their A1c scores based on daily measurements of self-monitored blood glucose, i.e. the patients using insulin for diabetes management. However, it is well suitable for patients on oral medications, as well as patients with different types of diabetes.
After downloading the app, you'll be asked to register with your email address and password. After that, you'll be asked questions about your diabetes, offering multiple choice answers, including the type of diabetes you have, the therapy you use (whether or not you need insulin, are you using pills), units for carbs and blood glucose you'd like to use, and your target ranges.
Once you've answered the questions, you'll be taken to the main screen where you can create your first log by tapping on the card on the screen or plus symbol (which you'd use often for adding entries).
mySugr app allows you to log a lot of things relevant to your diabetes management, including blood glucose (in unit you've chosen after the registration, i.e. mmol/L or mg/dl), carbs (also in unit you've chosen), meals, activity (with duration and type), pills (if you use any). Entries, such as meal and activity, allow you to add additional descriptions alongside them. Users can also add the geographical location for each entry which is a nice addition.
You can add further detail to your records by tagging these entries with one or more predetermined icons located at the bottom of the screen. These icons range from the essential meal and activity icons, such as breakfast, lunch, dinner, sports, travelling, shopping, house or office work, to more emotional options like happy, sad, stress or chilling.
You'd probably notice that some of the icons are colored orange. If you try to tap on them, you'd get notifications that they're only available in 'Pro' version. This will also happen if you try to set reminders, or take the photos of their food.
Basically, the mySugr app is 'freemium' app, which means it allows users to access basic options, but the full functionality requires a 'Pro' subscription which costs $2.99 per month or $27.99/year. While many users won't add photos of their food anyways, lack of reminders in a free version may be a put-off to some of them.
Another unpleasant surprise was inability to use the Search option, because it is also only available in 'Pro' version. So, I'm not actually sure how tracking and logging features are supposed to work without reminders and search.
The app also has problem with certain units. For example, when entering calories it's not specified if you enter calories for whole day or just one meal. Also, if you add medications, for example Metformin, dosage is unclear and confusing. Instead of normal units such as 500, 850 or 1000mg, you have 0.5, 1, 1.5, and so on, so I'm frankly not sure what they mean.
Once added, the entries cannot be edited. You can export them to PDF reports, but – guess what – only in 'Pro' version.
Some parts of the app, for example Bolus calculator doesn't work in all geographical locations, so I couldn't test how it works.
The interface is visually appealing and very easy to use, through the intuitive gamification principles, i.e. 'taming your diabetes monster,' which is a great way to motivate yourself to reach the goals you've set.
MySugr app also allows users to participate in various challenges, and can be integrated with other devices, such as Apple Health, which is really useful.
However, it would be better if the developers made the fully functional app available for a limited period of time, i.e. 7 or 14-day trial, or switched to one-time price, instead of monthly/yearly subscription, which is inefficient (when using trackers or logs, one month is nothing), and honestly a tad overpriced.
While mySugr app tries to solve the important problem in really unique and intuitive way, I have mixed feelings about it, mostly because of the limitations of the free version, as well as subscription scheme and the price of the Pro version.
Benefit: Patients with diabetes who want to track their habits in order to manage their condition, who aren't bothered with the limitation of free version, or who are willing to pay monthly subscription for fully-featured Pro version.