Diabetes Management Platforms 101

This content originally appeared on Beyond Type 1. Republished with permission.

By Liz Cambron-Kopco

Ever show up to your doctor appointment only to realize you left your blood glucose meter or logbook at home? It might be time to switch up how you’re tracking and logging your diabetes data to make your daily routine easier and more effective.

Diabetes management platforms, available online and through mobile-friendly apps, allow you to collect all your essential diabetes data in one place. This can help you understand your own blood sugar patterns better, make your doctor visits more effective and may help you reach your blood glucose goals faster.

Here is how to incorporate a diabetes management platform into your daily routine!

How to Pick a Platform

There are several platforms available for managing diabetes. Diabetes equipment like blood glucose meters (BGM) and continuous glucose monitors (CGM) now come with corresponding digital platforms provided by the manufacturer. Other platforms may also connect with BGMs and CGMs.

No matter what your blood sugar management routine looks like , there’s most likely a platform that works for you!

Before deciding between the many apps and platforms available, consider how you want a diabetes management platform to work for your needs and lifestyle:

What connected diabetes equipment (BGM, CGM, insulin pump, etc.) do I have that should be compatible with the platform?
What information do I plan on manually logging?
Will I log my data and connect my diabetes equipment using a smartphone or tablet-enabled app, or do I want a platform that I can use online?
What other data do I want to log and collect (physical activity, carb intake, insulin dose, etc.)?
What platform(s) are easily viewed and accessed by my healthcare provider or clinic?

It’s important that whatever platform you chose works well for you and your daily routine. After all, you can only use the data you actually collect. With these preferences in mind you can pick a diabetes management platform that best serves your needs.

Collect Your Data

Knowing what diabetes data to collect is important. Several diabetes management platforms provide options for tracking and logging the following data:

Blood glucose levels (manually or by connecting to a BGM/CGM)
Meals/carb intake
Insulin (dose, timing)
Blood pressure
Physical activity (manually or from activity tracker)

No more entering your weight in one program and tracking meals in another. These platforms can simplify your diabetes management by putting all your data in one place. It’s also highly customizable—you only need to collect the data that is important to you and your healthcare team.

Sync and Share

Now that you have a personalized gold mine of data, what do you do with it? Sync and share!

Most diabetes management platforms can connect directly with health monitors like wearable activity trackers, BGMs, CGMs, connected insulin pens (CIPs) and more. This is the data that your doctor wants to see in your visits, and these platforms help make that possible.

With some diabetes management platforms, you can chose to automatically send your data to your provider’s office. Many platforms also allow you to share your data to friends and family.

This instantaneous sharing of data means that even if you forget your BGM or logbook at home, you can still make the most of your doctor visits because they already have your information!

Data-Informed Decisions

With data in hand, doctor visits can focus more on YOU and less on finding the right cables to plug in your device for downloading.

Most diabetes management platforms provide summary graphs of your data that you can go over with your provider. More importantly, it gives you ownership of your own data!

With easy to read summaries right in the app or platform, you have the power of knowledge to make informed decisions, even between your doctor appointments.

No more waiting 3 months to adjust your medications or lifestyle! If you notice any changes in your data, you can communicate with your provider (who may be able to look at your data in realtime!) and make any necessary changes together.

This can mean getting closer to your diabetes goals even that much sooner!

Give It a Try!

Using a diabetes management platform doesn’t mean you need a PhD to use it. Most platforms offer customer service and your diabetes care team can help you sett up a platform and get comfortable using it.

Living with diabetes is a 24/7/365 task. Having one task simplified can make all the difference.

Talk to your doctor today about incorporating a diabetes management platform into your routine today.

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