The advance of the smartphone has revolutionised the way we interact with technology. Communication is instantaneous, entertainment is a touch away, and now your iPhone can even help you with your medication.
Diabetes is a condition affecting 25.8 million people across the United States. People with diabetes either cannot produce enough insulin naturally, or become increasingly resistant to the effects of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that controls how the body processes and utilises glucose, which we need for energy.
People who live with diabetes often have to replace the insulin in their body manually, most commonly by injecting insulin into the body to prevent potentially dangerous conditions such as diabetic acidosis or hypoglycaemia. Insulin dosing must be at the correct level to prevent any health problems.
Recently, with the advent of the iPhone and other smartphones, a number of apps have developed to ensure insulin dosing can be kept as accurate as possible. Some apps are free, others may cost up to $5, and all offer a different product. There are a range of apps; some are intended for medical professionals, and some are personal, for people living with diabetes, like Insulin On Board ($2.99) which keeps track of insulin dosing and the amount of fast acting insulin still in your body at any point of time.
Numerous users have reviewed these apps, and many of the evaluations are glowing. Consumers say that apps are well-structured and user friendly, and they can take their information straight to their doctor in a comprehensible format.
Many reviewers have offered suggestions to improve the apps, such as including half units in insulin doses for children, or allowing you to choose between short- and long-acting insulin, suggesting that insulin dosing apps are not yet perfect. However, that they even exist and are developing is a positive step, and these applications are making diabetes and tracking insulin dosage easier for people living with diabetes.
Insulin dosing apps are used by either people with diabetes, or oftentimes people who care for someone with diabetes, like their children. They are generally made for people with diabetes by people with diabetes, so they know what is needed; to be simple enough that in a moment of panic you can grab your phone and flick through the stats, and put your mind at ease, instead of being concerned that you have not taken the right amount of insulin.
When people revere the games on their iPhones or lament the loss of the freedom before mobile phones, it is worthwhile considering that some apps can have serious, practical implications for users: many people and companies out there are developing apps to help people, and to make peoples’ lives easier and safer. And that can only be a good thing.