Glooko app offers diabetics easier self-checks

Nov 11, 2011 by Nancy Owano report

(PhysOrg.com) -- A consumer health management app has joined an ever-growing list of Apple App Store items; Glooko helps diabetics check their blood sugar daily. Glooko is a Palo Alto startup that presents its core product as two items: a free-to-download logbook available at iTunes and a fee-charged cable, sold separately, at $39.95 from Amazon.

Therein lies the Glooko difference.

Other diabetes-management apps designed for iPhones are not as convenient, or, as one site blogger put it, they carry the ugh factor of having to input the information manually. Glooko relieves the tedium with its MeterSync cable device. You plug it into the meter and the phone, and that is all.

Glooko’s founders include those who have and those whose lives involve people with the disease, say the vendors. Convenience is what the company hopes will be a key attraction. Another perceived benefit is that the connection cable is compatible with any one of the popular glucose monitors: Bayer Contour, Freestyle Freedom Lite, Freestyle Lite, OneTouch Ultra 2, OneTouch UltraLink and OneTouch UltraMini.

“Say goodbye to manually entering blood glucose readings. Say hello to a logbook that fits your lifestyle. Save time and eliminate errors from manual entry by easily and quickly downloading blood glucose readings from your meter to your iPod touch or iPhone,” says the site.

Other than convenience, the record-keeping features are able to carry information beyond meter readings. The user can generate a more informative record of the condition, by noting down varied factors that affect blood glucose.

The patient can mark off notes about whether the reading was done before or after a meal, the number of carbs consumed, or can click on a predefined list of lifestyle factors.

Information from the logbook can then be emailed or faxed as a 14-day summary to the doctor.

Any doubt that the application does not have a ready market can be argued too. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 26 million adults and children in the United States -- or 8.3 percent of the population -- have diabetes.

By 2025, one in five people in the U.S. is projected to have diabetes.

As for Glooko’s technology decisions to run with devices, the product’s notes and 14-day summaries will make their way to many physicians already using Apple mobile devices on their work.

Recent findings indicate that 75 percent of U.S. physicians already own an Apple device, whether a smartphone or iPad. The Glooko product works with Apple devices running iOS 4.3 or later.

On the patient side, Glooko is joining a relatively young but growing wave of “patient-centered apps” designed to help people with chronic diseases that need monitoring—such as Vree for Diabetes by Merck & Co., and Novartis’s VaxTrak for tracking family vaccinations.

Explore further: Growing app industry has developers racing to keep up

More information: www.glooko.com/ , itunes.apple.com/us/app/glooko-logbook/id471942748?mt=8

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