Online tool helps people with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes manage their condition

A new Web application released by the American Diabetes Association that allows individuals with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes to upload information about their condition could help patients manage their symptoms and improve their care.

The online tool, called Diabetes 24/7, allows users to upload information, such as blood sugar readings and physical activity journals, while also enabling the sharing of laboratory results between doctors and patients. This can alert diabetics to trends in their blood sugar levels and help medical professionals design more effective treatment approaches that are tailored to specific individuals.

Studies of similar disease management programs have shown that the more information a person has about their condition, the more likely they are to take steps to improve their lifestyle. Additionally, such resources improve the ability of doctors to treat their patients' symptoms.

Given the fact that the prevalence of diabetes continues to rise at an alarming rate, officials from the association said programs like these are needed more than ever. They could benefit millions of people.

"Nearly 26 million people are living with diabetes and another 79 million are estimated to have pre-diabetes. To stop this epidemic, we must provide innovative tools for people to effectively manage their condition," said Dwight Holing, secretary and treasurer of the association. "Diabetes 24/7 allows users to upload and input critical health parameters and provides tools that are essential to proper diabetes care and treatment."

Aside from the side effects that can result from fluctuating blood sugar levels, poor control of diabetes can also lead to a number of complications, including heart disease, retinopathy, kidney complications and nerve damage. A recent study from the Commonwealth Fund showed that managing type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes is critical in avoiding these conditions.