Review of the iBGStar meter and app

Review of the iBGStar meter and app

Free, helpful iPhone app for diabetics

Through my doctor's office, which participates in a lot of studies on upcoming medicines and devices, I have known for a while that there was a blood glucose meter for the iPhone in the works.  The meter was to sync with the iPhone to help you keep track of and chart your test results.

I have an iPhone, so I was excited to find out at my last visit to my endocrinologist that the meter, called the iBGStar, is now available to the public.  The meter is tiny, smaller than any other meter I've ever had, and plugs into the iPhone via the port in the bottom of the phone.  (I've heard the iPhone 5, when it comes out, won't have the same sort of port, so I don't know what that means for the meter -- will they come out with a new meter for the iPhone 5?)  You can check your blood sugar with the meter connected OR disconnected -- if it's not connected to the phone, the next time you plug it in, it will download all the test results since the last time it synced.I personally have been plugging it into my phone quite a bit, mainly due to another feature that I love: the ability to keep track of insulin dosages, carb intakes, exercise, etc. in the app.  The app, which is free in the App Store under the iBGStar name (and, as far as I can tell, can be used even if you don't have the meter -- you'd just have to manually input your blood sugar readings), automatically syncs with the meter to download readings or allow you to check your blood sugar with the meter plugged in.  But in addition, you can add to any "card" -- which is how the app stores your readings -- an insulin dose, carb intake, and notes such as exercise, skipped or missed doses, whether you have your period, etc.  You can also add cards with this information without any glucose reading, in case you have a snack and don't check your blood sugar first.  This is extremely useful if you can't remember when your last dose was, or how much long-acting insulin you took last time, etc.

The app also does a great job of tracking and charting your blood sugar readings.  You may remember a review I wrote a while back on this topic, looking for an iPhone app that allowed me to see a graph of my test results over the long term -- harder to find than you might think.  The iBGStar app (which is free!) gives you several different ways to track your data: a trend graph (which is what I like best, since it gives me an at-a-glance visual so I can see how I'm going), a logbook, and statistics that show what your average blood sugars are before and after each meal and before bed.  Of course, to make use of these features, it really helps if you test often, but I've found that having such a cool "toy" at my disposal is encouraging me to test more often than I used to!

I highly recommend this meter for diabetics who want to be in better control of their sugars.  At the very least, if you have an iPhone you should download and try out the app, which is the best I've seen so far for showing me the "big picture," so to speak, with my blood sugars!