Why do we need another diabetes app?

March 13, 2020

There are many apps out in the market that aim to help people living with diabetes. These days you can automatically log treatments from insulin pens and pumps, see continuous blood glucose levels and visualise trends, log food and track carb intake, predict future trends and treatments, export reports for healthcare professionals, and much more…


Given the complex and often chaotic nature of diabetes, and the diverse needs of people with diabetes, it’s unsurprising that there are so many apps in the marketplace.


I’ve found that these apps fall into one of three groups:

  • Apps that help users log food/insulin and track trends in their diabetes care
  • Apps that provide reference data and calculations based on insulin and carb sensitivity
  • Apps that predict changes in blood glucose and suggest treatments

On the surface it can seem that people with diabetes are well served by app makers. The reality is somewhat different; our user research shows us that people frequently try a bunch of different apps, but rarely stick to any as the results can be very hit and miss.


While logging and tracking apps are useful for providing a high-level view of an individual’s diabetes care, it’s not necessarily useful in the here-and-now, especially when I just want to eat my favourite food. Carb counting apps can be useful to look up hard to remember nutritional data, though we know there are so many other factors involved in blood glucose, that carbohydrates are only part of the picture. The same problem is true of predictive apps; our understanding of diabetes and the endocrine system are insufficient to be able to accurately model so it can be difficult to get reliable results.


What we really need is an app that can make it easier to make day-to-day decisions, with meaningful personalised results.


At Quin we take a somewhat different approach to most apps: we acknowledge the difficulty in emulating the endocrine system, and believe that a person’s past self-care decisions are the most reliable basis for making future self-care decisions. We use this to help people make decisions that affect them in the present, with treatment suggestions backed up by how their own body has reacted to similar situations in the past.


Something that I personally find very exciting is that by working with our users, Quin may also be able to advance diabetes knowledge. Users can opt in to share their data and self-care expertise, and Quin will develop more knowledge about the endocrine system by grouping people who take similar treatments and get similar outcomes.


We have the opportunity to genuinely help people and improve their quality-of-life, all the while advancing diabetes science. For me, this is what sets Quin apart from other diabetes apps and is exactly why we need another diabetes app. There are a lot of people out there who also believe in Quin’s mission; We publicly launched our equity crowd funding campaign a few weeks ago, and we’re already overfunding. If you too believe that we need a better diabetes app, it’s not too late to join us: http://bit.ly/2w8vaiF

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