Apps that closely track blood sugar levels, calculate insulin doses, plan perfect diets and remind one to get moving to meet exercise targets have made it possible for people with diabetes to shred old blood test reports and trash books advising them how to live their lives after being diagnosed with the condition.
Health apps have been around to close to six years now, but what's new is that they've been customised to suit Indian lifestyle and palate.
"Health apps have been around, but they had restricted use. It's only over the past two years that they have taken off because of the increasing use of smartphones across ages," says Anoop Misra, chair, Fortis C-DOC Centre for Diabetes.
With less than 10% patients in metros using such apps, the industry is still at a niche level, but the desire to be pro-active is prompting many to seek options to control their lives.
Home-maker and health app user Anju Sharma, 41, was diagnosed with diabetes seven years ago. The mother of two wasn't really surprised, her parents were diabetics.
The app HealthifyMe helped Sharma keep a track of her health records on a daily basis.
"I have been using this app over the past three months and I'm already feeling better because my glucose is much better controlled. The app has helped me calculate my calorie intake, amount of fat burned, and my average sugar level over the day. My records are in one place and my diet is on track," says Sharma.
The data, presented in graphs and charts, also gives her and her endocrinologist at Medanta a detailed report of the spikes and falls in her blood glucose levels at a glance.
"The App is customized for Indians, so it suits my lifestyle really well," she says.
Health apps for diabetes management are the most popular among people with type-1 diabetes mainly because the users are younger and adapt quickly to technological advances.
"Since these apps are user-friendly and work as a real-time ready-reckoner, they are becoming increasingly popular with older adults too," says Dr Misra.