New app to help diabetics

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Photograph Courtsey of GlucOracle

People with type 2 diabetes may soon find it easier to manage their condition, thanks to an app that predicts how particular foods are likely to influence their blood-sugar levels.

The app, GlucOracle, which is still in development, asks users to upload photos of their meals, along with rough estimates of the meals’ nutritional content and finger-stick blood measurements. After a week of monitoring how a person responds to different foods, the app begins to predict post-meal blood-sugar levels.

“Even with expert guidance, it’s difficult for people to understand the true impact of their dietary choices, particularly on a meal-to-meal basis,” says David Albers, an associate research scientist in biomedical informatics at Columbia University Medical Center, who helped develop the technology. “Our algorithm predicts the consequences of eating a specific meal before the food is eaten, allowing individuals to make better nutritional choices during mealtime.”

The researchers are now tweaking the technology and planning a large clinical trial; they expect GlucOracle to be ready for widespread use within two years.



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