Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist.
Lindsay is a nurse-turned professional health and wellness writer. She uses her 9+ years of clinical healthcare and diverse medical background to write about mental health, chronic conditions, and medicine.
Dr. Danielle Weiss is the founder of the Center for Hormonal Health and Well-Being, a personalized, proactive, patient-centered medical practice with a unique focus on integrative endocrinology. She enjoys giving lectures and writing articles for both the lay public and medical audiences.
James Lacy, MLS, is a fact-checker and researcher. James received a Master of Library Science degree from Dominican University.
Smartphone apps have become increasingly important tools for managing certain health conditions, including diabetes, by assisting with everything from diet and exercise to glucose monitoring and symptom management. These five cleverly designed apps are useful for anyone with diabetes, from people who are newly diagnosed to those who have been living with the disease their entire lives.
BlueStar Diabetes
BlueStar is a free, award-winning app that offers a variety of helpful tools for people who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. It allows you to set reminders for medications, record your blood glucose levels, and plan meals for the day.
Tracks blood sugar results
Immediate feedback from real-time coaches
Provides recipes ideas/food barcode scanner
Set medication reminders
Syncs with fitness trackers
Requires access code from employer or health plan
Only intended for ages 17+
BlueStar is an FDA-approved, award-winning app that provides 24/7 real-time coaching from Certified Diabetes Educators. This comprehensive app is available only by prescription and offers an impressive range of tools tailored to the individual. Once registered, users can receive personalized guidance based on their blood glucose, medications, current health, and a review of lifestyle factors affecting diabetes.
In addition, BlueStar provides thousands of tailored coaching messages based on real-time glucose values and trends. While BlueStar is not intended to replace your doctor, it can greatly enhance your care, particularly if you're having difficulty controlling your blood sugar or are in need of ongoing support.
BlueStar is intended for persons 18 and older with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Free for iPhone and Android. To activate the app, you will need an access code from an authorized healthcare provider.
In the event of an emergency, the Medical ID app makes sure first responders can access important details about your health conditions (like diabetes and any others) as well as send alerts to your emergency contacts. Note: This app is designed to keep you safe rather than help you manage your diabetes.
Access from lock screen during emergency situations
Shares location with emergency contacts
Provides information on nearby hospitals
Comes pre-installed on iPhones
Not specifically for diabetes management and care
Free version doesn’t include many features
Although not a diabetes-specific app per se, Medical ID comes preinstalled on an iPhone (as part of the Health app) and is free to download for Android. The app is visible on the lock screen of the phone, allowing first responders or others to access critical medical information such as chronic conditions, including diabetes, emergency contacts, and more. It won’t help you manage your diabetes, but it will alert others of your condition in the event you have a diabetes-related emergency—a severe hypoglycemic event, for example—that leaves you unable to speak for yourself.
Comes pre-installed on iPhone, free to download on Android
With over 300,000 foods in its database, Fooducate provides insight on your nutrition quality so you can make smarter food choices as part of your diabetes management. Simply scan the barcode of your food packages to access helpful information on your daily eats. 
In-app community with recipes and member support
Identifies foods' nutritional value (carbs, sugars, etc.)
Suggests healthy alternatives for foods scanned
Premium version offers diabetes-specific tips
Free version doesn’t include diabetes support
Doesn’t track blood sugars
Fooducate is a nutrition-focused tracking app that assesses the quality of the foods you’re eating. The app uses a built-in database of hundreds of thousands of scannable barcodes so you can easily count macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats). It assigns a letter grade (A, B, C, or D) to a food’s nutrition quality. Fooducate then provides you with explanations and alternative recommendations, plus tips from nutrition professionals and community support so you can continue to make smart decisions for blood sugar management.
Free on iPhone and Android
Glucose Buddy
Glucose Buddy’s intuitive interface simplifies the process of logging carbohydrate intake, medication, exercise, and blood glucose readings. Plus, its custom insights help you understand how your lifestyle impacts your diabetes management.
Straightforward and modern look
Settings for prediabetes and type 1 & 2 diabetes
Provides insights based on target blood glucose range
Content library with management tips
Can sync data from Apple Health app
More expensive than its competitors
Glucose Buddy is a must-have iPhone app for tracking blood glucose levels, insulin, medications, A1C results, and carb intake. The app syncs with Dexcom G5 and G6 glucose monitoring systems to maintain a thorough record of your glucose, but it doesn’t stop there. Glucose Buddy helps you track your physical activity and food intake, and also offers push notifications to remind you when to check your blood sugar next. Glucose Buddy’s chart display can help you spot patterns and gain greater insight into your blood sugar trends and you can even create printable reports to bring to your next doctor’s appointment.
The standard version of the Glucose Buddy app is free, but Glucose Buddy Premium offers a tiered subscription service ranging from $15 to $60 a month for an ad-free and customizable experience, including personal diabetes coaching, performance reports, smart glucose meters, lancing devices and lancets, complimentary test strips, and an A1C calculator.
Free for iPhone; offers in-app purchases
MyFitnessPal is so much more than a calorie counter app: It lets you track your sugar, carb, and water intake as well as your physical activity and timing of your meals. The app has a notes section where you can record blood sugar levels and insulin injections.
Database includes more than 14 million foods
Can use smartphone camera to scan foods
Access to a library of recipes and workouts
Shows breakdown of macronutrients
Integrates with over 50 apps
Requires consistent internet connection
Premium is pricey but has more benefits
MyFitnessPal is one of the most widely-used food tracking apps, thanks to its enormous food database incorporating more than 11 million foods—everything from produce to restaurant menu options to Trader Joe's snacks. The barcode scanner lets you input nearly any food from your pantry and the app also incorporates an exercise tracker that syncs with your food choices to help you meet your goals for weight management.
Free for iPhone and Android
Overall, BlueStar Diabetes provides the best diabetes management offerings thanks to its incredible features. You can view glucose readings, connect to an integrated insulin pump, stay up-to-date on blood sugar trends, and manage meal plans right from your smartphone. Plus, BlueStar makes taking care of yourself even easier by allowing you to track activity levels, food intake, medication, and hydration. 
MyFitnessPal and Fooducate offer customized nutritional insights, while Glucose Buddy makes it easy to track blood sugar in just a couple of taps. Glucose Buddy's personalized insights help you understand how your lifestyle affects your condition. In case of emergencies, it’s a good idea to have the Medical ID app filled out with up-to-date contacts and medical information. 
A diabetes app is a software program that helps people manage their diabetes. Some apps provide management tools for glucose tracking, while others are super helpful for monitoring carbs and physical activity.
Diabetes apps offer a variety of features for managing your condition. There are food and exercise tracking apps that allow you to scan barcodes of your foods for nutritional insight and there are also diabetes management tools like medication reminders and alerts that let you know when it's time to conduct a self-test for blood sugar levels. Some apps even integrate with your healthcare provider's portal for personalized insights about your condition.
Using a diabetes app can help you better manage your condition. Many apps have interactive features that let you input data and track your progress, as well as offer lifestyle tips and reminders to establish and maintain healthy habits that can positively impact your condition. Plus, some diabetes apps connect you to communities of people who have similar health interests and challenges.
Tracking your carb intake is a vital part of managing your condition and diet. All of the apps on our list (except for Medical ID) offer carb counting tools.
Our methodology for evaluating diabetes apps is comprehensive and unbiased. We looked at key diabetes app features, assessed user reviews, researched the target markets for each contender, and used expert opinions to determine which apps are best for managing your condition.
Only the apps with a strong ability to meet a user's needs made the cut. We eliminated any apps that had a significant number of negative reviews, were hard to navigate, or didn’t provide valuable benefits or information for people with diabetes. Our thorough research and comprehensive analysis of each app allow our readers to make the best possible decision for their diabetes management needs.
By Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN
Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist.

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