Commentary

Three days with GlucoSuccess

IMG_0420After three days using GlucoSuccess, I can say it’s a bit of a nag.

Created by Massachusetts General Hospital, the iPhone app uses ResearchKit and it’s meant to make it easier for Type 2 diabetics to manage what they eat and how much they exercise. It succeeds on some levels, but it still could use a bit of polish.

Where it works: It integrates with LoseIt, an app that monitors what food you eat. It has a large database of products. Focus a barcode with the phone’s camera, and LoseIt pulls up calorie and carbohydrate information. GlucoSuccess’s developers were smart to let an existing, working app to do this chore.

And GlucoSuccess does a fair job integrating food and exercise.

But it’s a real nag.

Every morning it reminds me to check my feet. OK, I’m not going to fault it for encouraging me to keep tabs on a very real complication from my illness. But at 5 p.m. every day, I’ve gotten a message from the app reminding me to complete my daily tasks, which includes my pre-dinner glucose test. Dinner, for me, won’t be till about 7:30 p.m., and it would be great if the app could figure that out.

GlucoSuccess has a “Diet Insights” function that lists food I’ve eaten that are high in carbs or sugar. Near the top of the list is my bowl of kamut with a half cup of flax milk. If you’ve never eaten kamut, it’s a bit like the marriage of puffed wheat on Styrofoam packing peanuts. I eat it because 1 cup is 11 grams of carbohydrates (0g sugar). Top the kamut with a half cup of flax milk — carbs 4g (4g sugar) — and it’s a bowl of cereal with milk for 15g carbs.

But GlucoSuccess doesn’t like it because 88 percent of the calories come from carbohydrates. (I’m not sure how the math works out.) I don’t expect a gold star for my morning bowl of tastelessness, but I don’t expect to get cyber-dinged either.

I’ll stick with the app in the hopes that the insights become more thoughtful. But I’ll be expecting GlucoSuccess to do a better job at managing my data so I can do a better job managing my diabetes.

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