Mobile Apps That Can Help Improve Time in Range

This content originally appeared on diaTribe. Republished with permission.

By Natalie Sainz, Arvind Sommi

Managing your Time in Range (TIR) can be challenging, but there are several apps you can download to help you. In this article, we cover 14 apps you may want to check out.

Apps can be useful tools to monitor and improve your diabetes management, including your time in range. By tracking glucose levels, diet and exercise data, sleep and many other variables, health-focused apps can provide information and suggestions that could lead to improvements in time in range.

Considering these ten tips for staying in range, here are some apps that could help you reach your goal. While using these apps may seem daunting, remember that you don’t need every single one. All you need is the one that best suits your needs and will work for you. These apps can help anyone with diabetes – whether type 1 or type 2 – better understand their health and stay informed.

Diabetes Apps

Many of the following apps track glucose levels so that you always know where you are and can make appropriate adjustments to increase your time in range.

Glucose Buddy – Tracks blood sugar, provides weekly reports, and offers suggestions to improve glucose levels. Glucose Buddy can also track daily steps, exercise, and meals.

Diabetes Connect – can track blood sugar, meals, bolus insulin, basal insulin, correction insulin, basal rates, exercise, medication, blood pressure, moods, and notes. Data is exportable as a  PDF to share with healthcare providers.

mySugr – This app connects with several Accu-Chek blood sugar meters, meaning that it can sync data automatically onto your phone. Additionally, the app provides an estimated A1C and allows you to log your diet with photos.

Sugar Sense – allows easy tracking of blood sugar levels, weight, steps, and carbohydrate grams from the home screen. The user-friendly design includes preferences for type 1, type 2, gestational, and prediabetes.

diabetes:M – In addition to logging glucose, insulin, and medications, this app allows healthcare providers to track your progress in real-time.

Undermyfork – This app tracks how specific meals affect TIR. The app automatically combines CGM or BGM data with photos of meals eaten throughout the day to generate insightful graphs to share with healthcare providers.

You can also track your glucose levels and time in range with the Dexcom G6 and Freestyle Librelink, if you don’t already have them.

In addition to diabetes-focused apps, other apps can track different factors that influence diabetes management and time in range, such as sleep and stress levels.

Diet Apps

What you eat greatly affects blood sugar levels. Selecting the right foods can help you maintain and increase your time in range. Here are some apps that can help you understand the nutrition content in your diet.

Fooducate – Tracks the food you eat and provides each item’s nutritional information and the number of calories. Eating a balanced diet and losing weight can ultimately help you improve your TIR.

Drinkaware – Tracks the calories and sugars in what you drink. Drinks that are high in sugar can negatively impact your glucose levels and overall TIR.

Noom Coach – This app uses scientifically proven principles from cognitive behavioral therapy to help you build weight loss and exercise habits.

Exercise Apps

Exercise can help bring you back in range when your glucose levels are high. Even just a short 10-minute walk can help. There are many apps that track daily exercise. You can also connect with friends and family on these apps for motivation.

*Note: Talk to your healthcare provider before making any changes to your exercise routine. Make sure you understand how to avoid hypoglycemia during and after exercise. 

Runkeeper – This app from ASICS helps you set running goals and provides you with training plans to help you achieve them. Consistent exercise can help you improve your TIR and maintain overall body health.

MyFitnessPal – This unique app syncs with other apps such as Fitbit or Garmin Connect to help track your exercise progress. Additionally, you have the option of scanning the barcodes of the food you eat to automatically log the nutritional value of your diet.

Sleep + Mental Health Apps

Perhaps less talked about is how sleep and stress affect time in range. Getting too few hours of sleep can increase insulin resistance, increase feelings of hunger, and negatively impact your mood. Whether due to a lack of sleep or other factors, stress and especially diabetes distress can make it harder to manage diabetes. Implementing strategies that lead to better sleep and a better mood, such as counseling, diet, and exercise, can help improve your time in range. Read here about the importance of sleep in your diabetes management.

Headspace – This is a guided meditation app that also provides lessons on how to improve your sleep and lower your stress levels.

Calm – This app is a direct competitor to Headspace and offers many of the same benefits. Consider using Calm if you already have some experience with meditation.

Sleep Cycle – This app is an intelligent alarm clock that analyzes your sleep patterns and then wakes you up when you are in your lightest sleep phase. This means you will be less likely to be woken up in the middle of a dream or during deep sleep, which can be a jarring experience. One of our Editors, Arvind Sommi, uses Sleep Cycle every night and says it is one of his favorite apps.

To learn more about apps that can help you improve your health, read our article, What Are the Best Apps Out There for Improving Your Health?

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