2016 Diabetes Smartphone Apps and Diabetes Self-Management Education/Supoort Guidelines

Presentation Number: MON 275
Date of Presentation: April 3rd, 2017

Mary Gao*1, Gloria Wu2, Bonnibel Mae Bautista3, Nathan Law4 and Thomas Le5
1University of California, Santa Barbara, 2UC San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA, 3Saint Louis University, Baguio, Philippines, 4Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 5University of California, Berkeley


Purpose: To assess the 2016 diabetes smartphone apps in 2016 for popularity, features and Diabetes Self Management Education/Support guidelines from the ADA (1,2).

Methods: Using Google Analytics and smartphone analytics, we evaluated the most popular apps in 2016 with 5000 downloads or more. Apps with downloads of less than 1000 were excluded.

Results: 11 apps met the criteria: A- mySugr, B-Blood Glucose Tracker, C- Diabetes, D- Glucose Buddy, E- Diabetes:M, F- Diabetes Tracker, G- Glooko, H- mySugr Junior, I- Diabetes in Check, J- BlueLoop, K-Carb Counting with Lenny.

2016 Ranking: A: 500,000 downloads (d); B, C, D, E, F: 100,000 d; G, H: 10,000 d; J: 5000 d. All are journal/diary based except for J and K.

There are only three children’s apps found and ranked by Android Rankings, 1) K(100,000 d); 2) H(10,000 d); 3) J(5,000 d).

In 2016, of the top apps from Android and Google analytics, all but J are free. 5/11 have pay options: A, D, F, G, and J, ranging from "$39.99/mo" to "$165/yr". 6/11 do not require login with email: B, C, D, E, F and K. 4/11 do not record carbohydrates: B, C, D, and F. 2/11 (E and F) record BMI. No apps records/tracks lipids, cardiovascular status, smoking history, and socioeconomical/medical insurance issues. 2/11, A and H, records psychological moods.

In terms of the criteria of Diabetes Self Management Education/Support Guidelines (DSME/S) (1,2), 4/11 apps have goal setting for some of the measures e.g. weight, physical exercise, nutrition, and blood glucose: A and I have weight goals, I has exercise goals, E and I have nutrition goals, and A, E, andhave blood glucose goals.

With respect to the core topics in DSME/S (1,2), 1/11 apps (I) describes the diabetes disease process and treatment options. 1/11 apps (I) has a diet plan. 1/11 apps (I) incorporates physical activity into lifestyles. In contrast, 10/11 apps (All but C) allow medication inputs. 10/11 apps (All except K) monitor blood glucose levels for self management decision making. 3/11 apps (C, I, and K) do not include an option to write in prevention, detection, and treatment of acute and chronic complications. None of the apps allow the users to develop strategies for psychosocial issues. None address the social factors e.g. living conditions, financial limitations, and insurance coverage that limits treatment.

Conclusion: Diabetes apps in 2016 are mostly journal entries with some goal setting options available. To meet the needs of diabetic patients and their physicians, future apps could include the guidelines of the National Diabetes Self Management Education/Support Standards.


Nothing to Disclose: MG, GW, BMB, NL, TL