An app to better manage diabetes?
For people with diabetes, managing blood sugar levels, insulin dosages, meal planning and much more can be overwhelming. And with more than 10 percent of Americans being diagnosed with diabetes, the importance of managing the disease is at an all time high.
A new program, called the Accurate Insulin Decisions (AID), is hoping it can address all the above to help people with diabetes better manage their disease.
The Endocrine Society, along with several other health organizations, created the program with the idea in mind that people with diabetes can have the ability to control blood sugar spikes after eating and other longer lasting insulin effects right from their phone. The program, created as an app for smartphones, but also available on a special website, also provides resources to set goals for the management of blood sugar levels and insulin dosage, but also includes other decision-making support tools.
“Armed with these tools, millions of people who have diabetes will be positioned to play a more active role in managing their care,” said Dr. Robert A. Gabbay, AID Task Force member, in a statement. “The AID program’s tools empower patients to learn more about effective strategies for managing diabetes and facilitate important treatment discussions between patients and their health care providers.”
Jaye Leopold, diabetes clinical nurse specialist at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Illinois, says that persons with diabetes often need to adjust insulin dosage when they eat in order to have good diabetes control.
“The amount of insulin needed at a meal is very different from one person to the other, and must take into account the amount and type of foods eaten,” she says. “A program that can quickly help determine the right amount of insulin would be extremely beneficial.”
Leopold adds that it is crucial that the person has received education from a registered dietitian so that their meal plan is well-balanced and that they understand how to count carbohydrates.
“Insulin doses are not ‘one size fits all,’” she says.
Leopold recommends that each person should talk with their health care professional first before beginning any new diabetes management program.
For those with diabetes to monitor their insulin, they can use the app or website to input when they take their insulin along with their blood sugar levels. AID then takes that information and provides the suitable altered calculation for the next insulin dose during their next meal.
“It can be overwhelming for people with diabetes to calculate insulin doses,” said Dr. Carol Greenlee, the AID Task Force Chairwoman, in a statement. “The AID tools simplify the process of determining whether and how much to adjust the dose so patients can maintain safe blood sugar levels.”
The program creators hope the program will encourage patients and physicians to have more open conversations about their personal plans of action for treatment other disease management.
About the Author
Sarah Scroggins, health enews contributor, is the director of social media at Advocate Aurora Health. She has a BA and MA in Communications. When not on social media, she loves reading a good book (or audiobook), watching the latest Netflix series and teaching a college night class.