By Justin Bennett
It’s estimated that more than 23 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes, with another seven million undiagnosed cases in the country. That means that nearly one out of every ten people in the United States has diabetes. While this growing epidemic brings a lot of challenges for everyone who is dealing with the disease, more and more inexpensive technology is hitting that market that makes diabetes easier to manage. Here are a few tools that can help you:
Free and Low-Cost Apps
According to the Pew Research Center, more than 80% of Americans own a smartphone. The number is over 90% for individuals under the age of 50. If you have a smartphone, you have access to a wealth of apps that can help you wisely deal with your diabetes diagnosis. Many of these apps are free, and the ones that do cost money are very inexpensive.
MyFitnessPal is the most robust way to track the food that you consume, which is of paramount importance for those with diabetes. This app has more than 11 million foods in its database. You can also scan a food product’s barcode or create a food diary to track your progress and goals.
The American Diabetes Association recommends daily exercise for those with type 2 diabetes, preferably both aerobic and strength workouts. Freeletics is an app that teaches you how to work out without the need for an expensive gym membership. Instead, you will learn how to use bodyweight exercises to get in shape.
For an app aimed directly at those with diabetes, consider mySugr. This app helps you do everything from track your blood sugar and calculate your insulin dosage to set important reminders and keep track of other medications you are taking.
Wearables for People With Diabetes
One of the fastest-growing segments of technology is wearables, which consist of any smart device that is worn on your body or your clothing. Smartwatches are the most popular wearables and are expected to remain so for years to come.
The Apple Watch Series 4 is a great option for those with diabetes, as it has many useful features including electrocardiogram generation, the ability to detect a fall, and the capability to easily call for help in the case of an emergency. Additionally, it can monitor your heart rate and track your exercises.
Another useful wearable is the Fitbit Versa 2. It can track your heart rate, monitor your sleep, count your steps, and it even has a built-in Amazon Alexa to add to its usefulness.
Technology to Check Your Glucose
Not long ago, people with diabetes had to use fingerstick multiple times per day in order to check their glucose level. But that is now changing thanks to technology like the FreeStyle Libre. Instead of a finger prick, you simply use your smartphone to scan a small sensor that you painlessly place on your skin.
The sensor is waterproof, so you can shower or swim without damaging it. One sensor can provide accurate readings for up to two weeks. Apps for both Apple and Android are available that make the tracking of your glucose levels even easier.
Another important feature of the FreeStyle Libre is you can have it send your readings to up to 20 individuals. This allows family members, friends, and medical professionals to have access and provide help in times of emergency or even uncertainty.
Diabetes is a disease that is likely to change your life forever. However, it doesn’t have to negatively impact it. By managing your diabetes, you can live a long and healthy life. With inexpensive technology like apps and wearables, you can master your diabetes management with a minimal additional burden.