Glucose Buddy

Disease Category:
Target Audience: ,

Acceptable
Clinical Effectiveness
3
Functionality
3
Usability
3
60
Version: 3.7
Developer: Azumio
Review Date: 2016-04-23
Cost: Free + Pro version available for $6.99

Overall App Summary:

The Glucose Buddy app is “good enough” as an electronic blood glucose diary; but provides a less than desirable user experience or user interface. It has high feature functionality in that it does sync data with caregiver (parent, child) and allows sharing on social media (so social buddy system is in play). However, only for recently diagnosed patient who is highly motivated or someone who is always able to manual entry which is time consuming. Clunky design (from UI perspective).

 

App’s Intended Use:

Glucose Buddy is primarily intended for patients with diabetes who are interested in logging and tracking their disease. The app allows glucose monitoring not just for the patient, but also for a caregiver which is very popular in that parents can monitor their child’s glucose readings in a Type 1 diabetic.

 

Who’s this app most useful for?

Child or adolescent with Type 1 diabetes or Caregiver (mom or child with parent with diabetes) who are self-interested in, or are instructed by their provider team in, logging and tracking their blood glucose levels.

 

How should one use it?

Patients should remember to check their blood sugars as instructed by their provider team (once daily or multiple times per day) and manually enter the blood sugar numbers into the app. Requires pre-education to understand how the app should be best used.

 

Why should anyone use the app? Is it clinically relevant? 

The app is a simple electronic/ digital blood sugar diary; but really doesn’t have any key functionalities beyond that. It’s an alternative to the traditional paper/pen log. There is a clear summary feature and really the readings and summary are the only really useful features. Not sure what utility the “social media” functionality has, maybe a distractor on the screen.

 

Is there any published evidence that the app actually works?

The app clearly works “just fine” as a digital diary. However, in regards to increasing compliance with logging blood sugars or actually improving management of diabetes, the reviewers could not find any evidence.

 

Regulatory Compliance

Not FDA cleared, but most likely exempt under Mobile Medical Applications guidance – enforcement discretion.

 

What is the most important/ desirable feature of the app?

The app is quite simple and is visually not very appealing. It is “good enough”, but leaves a lot to be desired. It does have lots of functionalities, but not sure how valuable they really are.

 

How does this app compare to other apps in this category?

Not as good as some other apps in this category. However, this is still a very good app because the “sync” feature carries reassurance for patients and their family members which is very helpful.

 

If there’s a paid version, is it worth the upgrade?

Did not test the paid version.

Security and Privacy

Password: Yes, in paid-version
Encryption:
Data Security: Hard to find
Data Sharing: Hard to find
Regulatory Compliance:

Reviewer(s)
Ayesha Khalid

Ayesha is an ENT surgeon at Harvard Medical School with an MBA in Global Leadership and Innovation from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Ayesha serves on several Boards for medical organizations and is currently on the board of the American Academy of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery. Ayesha has experience with consulting for private equity firms to evaluate business opportunities in the health IT and medical practice management. She served as Vice-President of Business Development of a digital health start-up out of Johns Hopkins, Doctella. Presently, in addition to clinical practice, Ayes is the Clinician Director for CBIT at the Yale School of Medicine and is curating early stage health IT startups. You can follow Ayesha on Twitter at @ayeshakhalidmd

Conflicts of Interest

Employment: Cambridge Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Yale School of Medicine; Consultant/ Advisor: 480 Biomedical, Stallergenes Greer, Smith and Nephew, Lambay Advisors, Burr Pilgrim Mayer; Ownership: 480 Biomedical, Collective Healthtech, GeoHealth

Maulik Majmudar

Dr. Maulik Majmudar is a practicing cardiologist and Associate Director of the Healthcare Transformation Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital; and an Instructor at Harvard Medical School. He lectures at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in areas of healthcare innovation & entrepreneurship, as well as medical device design and development. Dr. Majmudar started his career as a medical student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, completed resident training in Internal Medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and followed by a fellowship in Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital at Harvard Medical School. You can follow him @mmajmudar

Conflicts of Interest:

Employment: Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Consultant/ Advisor: AliveCor, BioFourmis, Cardiogram, EchoSense, Facebook, HUINNO, MC10, Nokia; Ownership: BioFourmis, Cardiogram, HiLabs, Quanttus; Research: EchoSense, GE Healthcare, MIT.

Editor(s)
Adam Landman

Dr. Adam Landman, is an emergency physician and Chief Medical Information Officer at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). Dr. Landman holds degrees in information systems and health care policy from Carnegie Mellon University and a medical degree from UMDNJ – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. After medical school, he trained in emergency medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and completed the RWJ Foundation Clinical Scholars fellowship in health services research, where he worked on qualitative and quantitative studies on the adoption of health information technology (HIT) in the emergency department (ED) and prehospital settings.

Conflicts of Interest:

Employment: Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Consultant/ Advisor: None; Ownership: None; Research: CRICO.

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