Q&A: How a Type 2 diabetes patient manages their health with digital technology

Type 2 diabetes patient and blogger, Mila Buckley spoke to Digital Health Age about the types of technology she uses to keep track of her health, and which pieces of technology in particular help her manage her diabetes.

Give us a short insight to your lifestyle prior to finding out you had diabetes?

Prior to being diagnosed, I was moderately active. I worked out around three times a week, but I didn’t watch my diet closely. I also worked a lot – sometimes more than 60 hours a week. I started to notice that I had constant thirst, dizziness, I was starving all the time, and really sweaty. When I went to the doctor, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and was told to amp up the exercise, and watch the way I eat.

When did you first start using technology to help manage your diabetes?

I had a digital meter, but it wasn’t until earlier this year, when I switched to the OneTouch Verio Flex Meter and OneTouch Reveal Mobile app, that I really started to understand how technology could work in my favour and assist me in my diabetes management. Before those tools, I was tracking my glucose numbers in spreadsheets and trying to find patterns by myself. Switching to something more advanced has helped me to keep track patterns with ease and accuracy.

Can you give examples of what you have used?

Before the OneTouch Verio Flex Meter, and Reveal Mobile app, I really didn’t use much technology! Google Sheets were my go-to, but even then, I had to input all of the information myself instead of having the data sync directly to my phone.

Why do you think the OneTouch Reveal app has worked for you, and what makes it different from others?

The OneTouch Reveal mobile app has worked really well for me, because it gives me direct access to my data, but it also helps me see patterns at a glance. I don’t have to do any maths, or conversions to know where I stand – I just open it up, and all of my data is readily available. I feel like that helps me make better decisions about my diabetes management on the fly, which is something I was never able to do with my old methods of tracking.

Which features do you find a particularly helpful to you when managing diabetes?

The ColorSure technology is really helpful. I love knowing when I’m inside, or outside of my goal ranges, and seeing it by colour is a helpful indication of where I stand. I also love synching to Apple HealthKit, so that I can understand the full picture of my health when it comes to my diabetes management.

Does the app compliment some non-digital activities you do to manage diabetes?

Since I began using the app, I really don’t track, or log anything manually anymore. Using the OneTouch Reveal Mobile app has really helped me take everything from paper to digital. That has been a really good transition for me because I’m actually more inclined to log and keep track of my metrics.

Are there other pieces of technology you use alongside the app and its features?

Another app I use is MyFitnessPal which has been great in helping me track my nutrition and macros. I love comparing that with my glucose numbers to see where I did well, and where I need a little more work. I also get my precise carb counts from MyFitnessPal, that I can then transfer over to my Reveal Mobile app to get a full picture of my progress.

If the app was no longer available, do you think you’d struggle in any way, or do you think you could manage without it?

I do think I would struggle without it. The OneTouch Verio Flex Meter and Reveal Mobile App are two tools I know I need. Being able to see my information at a glance, sync it seamlessly and have visual cues to understand my glucose patterns more clearly has led to a significant and positive change in my diabetes management. It has given me some time back that I used to use on data entry and manual analysis of my blood glucose trends. The OneTouch Reveal Mobile App has been a great addition to my diabetes toolbox, and I hope I never have to live without it.

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