This must have diabetes app forecasts your blood sugar
Columbia University Medical Center researchers have developed a must have diabetes app that can tell you what your blood sugar will be based on the food you are about to eat.
Here's how it works and what you can expect.
App tells people with diabetes how certain foods will impact blood sugar
The beauty of this phone app is that it can help with diabetes meal planning in a way that won't spike your blood sugar and help you stay on track, given the fact that everyone is different.
"While we know the general effect of different types of food on blood glucose, the detailed effects can vary widely from one person to another and for the same person over time,” said lead author David Albers, PhD, associate research scientist in Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) in a media release.
Albers adds the app is easy to use and uses an algorithm to predict blood sugar response to certain foods. The app means you can take charge of your health and plan ahead to control diabetes.
How it works
The Glucoracle app takes cues from your input with use of a program called data assimilation.
“The data assimilator is continually updated with the user’s food intake and blood glucose measurements, personalizing the model for that individual,” said co-study leader Lena Mamykina, PhD, assistant professor of biomedical informatics at CUMC.
You provide your blood sugar readings and a photo of the meal and a general estimate of the nutritional value of the food you're planning to eat. The app will then tell you what your blood sugar results are expected to be.
The app isn't perfect, but researchers say it's pretty close.
To test the apps accuracy the researchers compared 3 people with type 2 diabetes with 2 people without the disease.
The results were compared with actual post meal blood sugar levels and with predictions from diabetes educators.
The results from the app were only slightly less for the test subjects with diabetes; for those without diabetes Gucoracle's algorithm measured up well for predicting how food affected the test subject's glucose levels.
More to come
The next step is to make the app even better, but first the research team wanted to prove they prove it could be done.
“This evaluation was designed to prove that it’s possible, using routine self-monitoring data, to generate real-time glucose forecasts that people could use to make better nutritional choices. We have been able to make an aspect of diabetes self-management that has been nearly impossible for people with type 2 diabetes more manageable," Albers said.
The Glucoracle app could be launched in two years for widespread use. The researchers are planning a larger clinical trial to help people with diabetes make the best food choices and take even more control of their health and well-being.