The Diabetes Manager app - welcome to the 21st century!
I have an admission to make - I'm a closet technophobe. Actually, to my colleagues at work, there's nothing closet about it - when faced with yet another new piece of software to master in order to comply with the NHS's ever-growing mountain of bureaucracy a few months ago, I could be found sitting with the secretaries trying to persuade them to join in with my new song 'We hate Docman, yes we do, yes we do…' But even I have to admit that while I dread learning about every new IT development, I couldn't live without it. Six months later, I was informed that our practice was switching to a completely new IT system and my first question was whether we would be able to keep the electronic document management system Docman - I may hate to admit it, but it's made my working life easier and has improved the care we can give our patients.
I spent years hanging on to my old phone, resisting my daughter's pleas to move into the 21st century and stop using a brick (I only gave in when the old one got caught in a pile of sheets and I put it through the washing machine). But even I have now moved with the times - I even have an app or two - and if I can do it, anyone can. I'm also all too aware that most of us have incorporated technology into almost every aspect of our lives. My father is proud to be a 'silver surfer' and my son throws technical IT jargon into conversations as if he's done it all his life, which most young people have. So when I was told about the new patient.info Diabetes Manager app, I swallowed my IT prejudices and was quickly hooked.
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are very different conditions. For a start, getting type 1 diabetes is absolutely nothing to do with lifestyle, while with type 2 diabetes a change in lifestyle over a four- year period can cut your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by almost 60%.
But keeping your blood sugar under control is key to preventing complications in both conditions - and the new Patient Diabetes Manager app, available to download free onto iPhones, uses all the advantages of the technological age to help people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes do just that. Diet, activity, weight and insulin doses (for people treated with insulin injections) can all affect blood sugar. For people taking insulin, or (in type 2 diabetes) a group of medicines called sulfonylureas, being able to record all these on the move is a boon. Let's face it, these days, who leaves home without their mobile phone? You can view the data on the home screen, compare your levels with your upper and lower blood sugar targets, see your records in a chart or a journal, set reminders for your next diabetes clinic check and even share your records with your healthcare professional.
The Patient Diabetes Manager app has been developed by doctors and people with diabetes, in conjunction with those clever IT types who make it all work seamlessly. We don't talk about 'diabetics' any more. People should never be defined by a medical condition they have, because a medical condition should never control you. Instead, this app is a great step to help you control your condition.