July 11, 2018

Show IH: Manage your blood glucose via SMS.

Hello IH! I'm building a service that lets users log their blood glucose via SMS and share that data with loved ones. I'd love some feedback.

Site: https://glucolog.herokuapp.com/

Features:

  • Simply text readings to (909) 757-0084 and get feedback. No apps required

  • Users and followers receive daily progress updates

  • Followers receive reminders if a user hasn't been logging

  • Simple charts to visualize progress

  • Data sharing with a user's endocrinologist and/or physician

Background:

My father has Type 2 diabetes and it has been a struggle helping him manage it. He tried blood glucose logging apps, but they're complicated, and the push notifications they send tend to get lost in the shuffle. He likes Glucolog because it's extremely simple. The process of downloading an app, logging in, finding it in a sea of apps, waiting for things to load, and navigating a complex UI multiple times a day is a lot to ask of someone who is not a native smartphone user. I imagine this bot would also be useful for people who have poor data connections or feature phones, or people who just value the simplicity of an SMS interface. Me and my family love the bot because it keeps us informed on my Dad's progress without having to constantly ask him about it.

Why not just start a group text with the readings? It's overwhelming for followers to receive blood glucose readings multiple times a day in real-time. After a few days, it's easy to just ignore messages. Also, there's no feedback mechanism on the readings, and directly texting others can make some users feel uncomfortable, like someone is constantly looking over their shoulder.

What about Continuous Glucose Monitors or "Smart" monitors? They're great! But most people don't have them/can't afford them/don't wan't to use them right now. In the next decade I have no doubt they will become cheap/easy enough to gain widespread adoption, but we're not there yet.