Project Goals and Information

Goals

I’m interested in diabetes management and want to explore how to track and analyze my meals. I want to leverage my personal diabetes data and improve my self-care technology. Also I would like to enhance my design and development experience through my diabetes apps.

Although I will focus on complementing One Drop initially, my app should work with any diabetes management solution that saves data in Apple Health. In fact, it might even be useful for users without diabetes who want to track their meals and recipes.

I have been exploring methods to analyze my own data for enhanced understanding and improving diabetes managements with such insights. I would to share this capability with others so they can benefit as well.

Background

I have had Type 2 diabetes since 2006 (over 12 years). It demands constant attention every day, and food is a critical element to keep me healthy with good glucose control.

Glucose

I use a One Drop Chrome Bluetooth glucose meter with One Drop Mobile app on my iPhone (and new Apple Watch soon). I check my blood glucose via finger stick with a lancet before and after every meal, exercise, and bedtime. My target glucose range is 70-180 mg/dL with average below 154 (A1c 7.0%).

Medications

It’s necessary to take medications to control my glucose, including Metformin pills twice a day, long-acting basal insulin (Lantus) at bedtime, and fast-acting bolus insulin (NovoLog) before meals.

Activity

Exercise helps a lot, like taking a 15-minute walk after breakfast or dinner. Also I try to do 30-45 minutes cardio or strength training at the gym in the afternoon 5 times a week. I have definitely seen improvements in my glucose, and I feel stronger and have more energy too.

Weight

I have lost about 30 pounds over the past 6 years from 170 to about 140, where I have been stable about 2 years now; My high had been over 220 with 40+ inch waist (now 32), so I have dropped over 80 pounds total. I think this has helped my diabetes, and I’m actually healthier than I have been in a long time. I’m now back to my high school weight, and feeling great.

Food

Diet definitely makes a difference to help me keep my glucose in-range between 70-180 mg/dL. I have found that eating low-carb has helped, especially if I have less than 30g per meal (although it’s better at 10-20g), with a daily carb target between 80-120g. I have been actively gathering recipes, and even started cooking meals myself.

Overview

This app will help with this area significantly. I would like to focus on the following objectives:

  • Track and plan meals

  • Manage recipes, photos, and links

  • Understand diabetes impact

Meals

Currently, I log all my food (meals and snacks) using One Drop, which is stored in Apple Health. This includes meal name, type, carbs/calories, foods, nutrition, date/time, location, note, tags, and photo. These food moments appear in daily log, along with glucose, meds, and activity. Also I see daily and monthly totals for carbs and calories, as well as last 7 and 30 days.

Also Apple Health shows my average and graphs with selection by day, week, month, or year as well as summary and details for all data; for example, my daily average is 124g so far this year, when it was 142 last year (-18). Nutrition data on dietary energy shows kcal average and graphs; for example, my daily average is 1,376 kcal so far in 2018, whereas it was 1,523 for 2017 (-147).

I would like additional flexibility to organize, group, and display my meals with photos by day and meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack), including calendar views such as weekly or monthly. I will also enable logging of meals, recipes, photos, and links manually via the user interface.

Recipes

When logging my meals or snacks with One Drop, I can search their food library or scan a UPC product barcode. Or I can search my saved foods (recent, name, or group), including using Siri shortcuts for common items.

Since I have begun cooking myself, I have gathered lots of recipes and related information like name, ingredients, instructions, servings and size, prep/cook time, nutrition, photos, thumbnail image, and links. I would like to make this information much more usable for me to use on a daily basis.

Diabetes

I would like analyze each meal and carbs in the context of pre-meal (preprandial) glucose and insulin as well as post-meal (postprandial) glucose 2 hours afterward; actually, I have also been checking 1 hour after to determine any interim spikes, and make sure that my estimate insulin dose is about right (and not too much).

This will enable me to identify those recipes (and meals) that I like, especially those with a positive glucose impact for my diabetes.

Summary

I expect that this will add lots of benefits as I keep trying to improve my health through better diabetes management.