Using apps
A national programme to improve the standard of apps and websites designed to help patients manage diabetes is looking for candidates to review four new designs.
The Health App Challenge, run by Plymouth University with funding from the Intellectual Property Office, has reached the testing stage where the newly created apps are subject to TripAdvisor-style reviews from those with diabetes.
The new creations are BetterBGs (a real-time food and medication dose advisory system), EasyDiabetes (a complete organiser for teens with diabetes), BWell Sugars System (a data logging and tracking tool) and Dap’n’ (a game design for medical adherence).
Project supervisor Emily Ashurst said: 
"Each patient app-design represents a different challenge in managing diabetes: Dap'n' is a game design focusing on self-motivation to manage medication and coordinated support when needed; BetterBGs is a real-time insulin and food dose advisory system focusing on achieving better blood glucose control; EasyDiabetes is an organiser aimed at teens with diabetes focusing on making the management process easier with reminders, useful information and data entry; And BWell Sugars System is a simple design focusing on easy data entry to track blood glucose patterns."
People with diabetes are being sought for each of the apps, and every review will see the author entered into a prize draw to win £200 ahead of the deadline of 16 March. The feedback will also be used to help the designs become fully-fledged commercial apps. 
Emily added: 
"With the support from the Challenge (both useful resources and networking opportunities with professional developers and healthcare professionals) and feedback from peer reviewers on the website, these designs can be turned into usable and useful management tools for diabetes - by patients, for patients."
The Health App Challenge builds on the inaugural Diabetes App Challenge from 2012, which focused solely on young, type 1 diabetes sufferers in a bid to address the statistic that showed just 13 per cent of people between the ages of 16–24 in England and Wales achieve their target blood glucose level. Sustained hyperglycaemia – excess glucose in the blood-stream – can lead to microvascular and macrovascular complications by middle age and reduced life expectancy. In contrast, good long-term control of blood sugar greatly reduces these risks.
To review one of the apps, please visit the Health App Challenge website via the link below.