Blog Entries With Tag: iphone


Posted: Dec 28, 2009

Have you heard that Lance Armstrong is now using his celebrity to raise awareness for diabetes? While Lance is known best for his Tour de France wins and LiveStrong cancer survivor campaign, it seems that he is turning his efforts toward a new cause: diabetes.



Unlike with LiveStrong, which was inspired by his own battle with testicular cancer, Lance chose to support diabetes without having a personal connection to the cause. He was quoted in this article saying, “Much like with cancer survivors or those who have HIV, people with diabetes have been dealt this hand, a health challenge. Ultimately, we wanted to be there to help them achieve a healthy quality of life, help them live to their fullest."

So, in a new section of his LiveStrong “My Plate”, a “MyPlateD” has been launched to focus on those with type 2 diabetes. Like the original MyPlate, MyPlateD focuses on eating healthy, counting calories, watching your weight, managing your fitness, and planning meals an diets.

The MyPlateD offers:

  • Personal glucose tracking •
  • Insulin usage tracking •
  • Personalized charts •
  • Nutritionist Approved diabetic recipes •
  • Glucose level monitoring •
  • Member support
  • Caloric, fat, protein, and carb tracking for over 626k food items

You can access all of these “features” (including an iPhone app) for free for 45 days, after which you will have to upgrade to a “Gold” Account for $29.95/six months or $45/year.

Here is where it begins to get strange to me. Why charge for what basically (looks like) an online spreadsheet for tracking how much you eat and exercise? Where exactly does the money go? What service exactly are you paying for, as a consumer? I can’t help but wonder why Lance has decided to rebrand the already established (and popular? I’m not sure) MyPlate for diabetes when they seem like the same thing? And, though I support anyone who uses their celebrity to spread awareness about health causes, there seems something slightly odd about this business venture.

Why does Lance, who has already basically become the “face” of cancer and cancer survival, want to branch out into diabetes? On one hand, this could be a really altruistic and positive way to lend a hand to a less publicized condition. Because, why not use your fame and business-savvy to aid another condition in receiving necessary attention? On the other hand, what a lucrative idea! The article claims that he’s interested in diabetes because “he just likes the idea of making a difference in one of the USA's fastest-growing health problems." The words "fastest-growing" makes me think of his potential to make money off the masses more than his potential to help the condition of Americans' health. But I could be reading into it. Because, if MyPlateD (which may not even improve the quality of life for diabetics) grows, and as more and more people get type 2 diabetes, who will be there to profit but Lance Armstrong, yellow-banded business extraordinaire, et al?

I suppose one could argue that Lance sees a connection between his love of healthy-living and diabetes prevention/management. It’s no secret that, for a business to survive, it must continually grow. I don’t mind the idea of that at all, as long as we, the consumers, are treated fairly and, in turn, can benefit. I just hope Lance focuses on the other side of the disease as well. Because reinforcing the diet industry isn’t something we, as consumers, really need right now.

But - What do you think? Are you happy diabetes may get a piece of Lance’s golden pie? What would you like the general public to know about diabetes (via Lance or other publicity)? Do you mind that he has no personal connection to diabetes?

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Posted: Aug 17, 2009

Here's something that came across my desktop today - an application called CarbTracker that works on an iPhone or iPod Touch - both of which I don't presently own - plus I'm not a big cell phone user.  I have one for Emergency only - and I think I use about 1 minute of the 50 minutes I am allowed - along with 50 text messages.  The thing though with the CarbTracker that I like that is perhaps making me want to step over to the "dark side" of the technology world is that if you are watching your carb intake - like a lot of diabetics do - in order to maintain a healthy blood sugar range - then this could be the as handy as the insulin pump I wear.

Yes, my Animas 2020 pump that I wear right now - if I had it set up correctly can give me the low down of my carb intake using the EzManager software - but for those that don't wear a pump - or like me - are lazy to set it up to use properly - then if they are already own an iPhone or iPod Touch owner - viola - keeping track of your carbs will be too easy (and this is coming from a non-tech gal ).

I checked out the demo page and it looks fairly user friendly - and the one good thing is you don't have to be connected up to the Internet in order to use it - which could get expensive on a cell phone.  There is a database of 65,000 items (and supposedly more will be added) - it even keeps track of how much water you've drunk in a day (something we diabetics have to consume more of - which I'm very bad at doing) - along with keeping record of your weight.  Also, the application is not just aimed at diabetics - but also for people who are following a low-carb diet.

So, I'm putting a question to you - would you find this a good tool to use for yourself if it was affordable? I am presently having no luck with finding out how much the application costs - so will update later if I find it - or if you luck in on finding the info - post it here for others to see! 

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Posted: Jul 30, 2009


How might smart phones (also known as handheld computation devices) such as the iPhone change diabetes care?   Many folks know that when Apple previewed their new iPhone 3.0 OS that they also showed a number of potential medical applications.  One showed a blood pressure cuff with readings being exported and displayed (and presumably saved) on the iPhone.   Another showed a blood glucose meter (BGM) beaming readings to an iPhone.  (for more with pictures see this coverage of Apple OS 3.0).

It is important to note that both of these demonstrations were just that- demonstrations- they showed capabilities and potential rather than "available now" features.   However, there are a number of applications available now for use by folks with diabetes.   Most are stand-alone like calorie counters, glucose logs, carb counters- they are iPhone 1.0 applications and don't use the full functionality of the iPhone such as geo-positioning, auto-call, online sourcing, etc.    But newer, more integrated applications for people to more fully manage their diabetes are emerging.

But this is only significant to a small subset of people with diabetes, right?   Well, yes and no.   About 6% of people with diagnosed diabetes in the US have iPhones .   That's a small %, but in absolute numbers, it's about 1Million people!  

Here's a bit of market analysis- comments and couterpoints are welcomed!   Click on the image below for the full 7 page market analysis 



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