Diabetes is a serious, and often a life-threatening disease that affects about 9.3 percent of U.S. population (as of 2014). Diabetes diagnosis can overwhelm patients, because they must accept the fact that they'd have to live with the disease that requires significant lifestyle changes until the rest of their lives.
Putting diabetes under control is essential in order to reduce the risk of developing diabetes-associated complications, but this is also a time consuming task, because it requires patients to be aware of it 24/7.
Many diabetes patients use traditional "pen and paper" logs or diaries to track blood sugar levels, calorie intake, medication use, and other lifestyle activities that help them stay on top of their diabetes, but this could be cumbersome often causing missed entries or doses.
Luckily, managing diabetes has never been easier thanks to the numerous techs and gadgets, including many mobile apps that help patients keep their diabetes in check.
These apps range from single- to multifunctional that help with various tasks, including tracking blood glucose levels, counting carbs, managing medications, etc.
Sometimes, these apps focus on only one type of diabetes, such as Type 2 that is the most common type of diabetes, accounting for about 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases. We reviewed couple of such apps that are made specifically to provide healthcare professionals with clinical practice guidance and decision support, such as AACE Diabetes Algorithm app and Accurate Insulin Decisions (AID) app that both focus on Type 2 diabetes patients.
However, most diabetes apps cover all types of diabetes, including Type 1 and 2, Gestational and LADA, and are usually aimed at patient helping them track and manage their condition.
The app we review today is similar. SocialDiabetes app is designed for patients with type 1 and type 2, as well as gestational and LADA diabetes, helping them keep track of their blood glucose levels, food and calorie intake, as well as insulin administration.
Although designed as self-management tool for diabetes patients, they should use it only under supervision of their healthcare providers.
If you're an iPhone user, the app will offer to connect with Apple Health in order to read your daily health data. You can choose to leave that off for now and enable it later, at your convenience. Once you've adjusted custom settings and provided required data, you can start using this app.
SocialDiabetes app is visually appealing with nice design and easy to use interface. However, some parts of app would benefit from clearer instructions on how to use them.
Also, I've experienced a slower response at certain parts. For example, I had to tap several times on certain sections to open them; also food database took too long to load fully.
Main goal of SocialDiabetes app is to help you track your daily food intake and insulin requirements, as well as your resultant blood glucose levels, in simple and intuitive way. Your tracked data and results are displayed via easy-to-understand graphs, allowing you to visually check your progress on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Also, users can export all the tracked data as PDF that can be printed or shared with their healthcare provider.
Based on the input and tracked data, the SocialDiabetes app provides personalized recommendations for each user, allowing them to easily correct their insulin level and control their diet more effectively. To ensure that the users would do that, the app would keep sending reminders.
The app also includes the popular food databases, including USA USDA, UK CoFIDS, Spain BEDCA and Brasil SBD, with more than 11,000 food entries listed, along with their nutritional qualities. This allows users to quickly calculate carbohydrate counts for the foods they eat.
Another useful feature is ability to add your healthcare provider that you can communicate and share your report with.
The app also allows users to connect with their glucometers, but this didn't work. Also, users are supposed to be able to connect this app to Cloud in case they wish to share any information with other users, but I'm not sure how this works because there's no "cloud" to connect to.
When you tap on CloudDiabetes there's only your email and time of the last synchronization that obviously has some bug, because it would keep stating that you never synced, even after you successfully did it a second ago. But, even if I'm synced, where are the other users I can share my recipes and tips with?
My guess is that this "social" aspect referenced in the app's name is only available if you purchase a premium account. However, the app doesn't indicate what features come with premium account.
More confusing is the fact that even when you download basic free version, you are granted an access to all features for a limited period of time, but there is no option to connect to cloud and interact and share recipes with other app users.
SocialDiabetes is ok as a simple calorie counter and blood glucose tracker, with outstanding food database. However, social aspect, which should be the app's strongest point, is missing. Until it's fixed, or at least explained, I'd suggest users to rather user other better diabetes tracker apps.
Benefit: The app is designed as self-management tool for patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes