Glooko is the smartphone way to record and report blood glucose levels

Daniel Bader

October 4, 2012 1:49pm

Yesterday, I spoke with Sundeep Madra about Glooko, and instantly understood why the technologies in our hands — our smartphones, tablets, laptops — are so powerful, and so disastrously underutilized.

He told me about his wife, who suffers from Type 1 diabetes, and how transferring log data from a standard blood glucose meter to a computer was a time-consuming and frustrating process. He told me about how Glooko was a project of necessity, and how he feels that the system can and has changed the lives of those with diabetes.

It works like this: a small cable hooks into the connector port of your iPhone (4S or earlier at the moment) and, on the other end, into one of 17 glucose meters from companies like Bayer, OneTouch and ACCU-CHEK. Using the standard “MFI” protocol designed by Apple, the cable transfers all log data from the meter to the iPhone, after which the user can annotate and expand upon the data.

The Glooko Logbook app is free to download, and is indispensable to someone who likes to flesh out how he or she was feeling on a specific day, including what meals they ate and how much exercise they did. Madra told me that users have been able to more accurately follow what foods and lifestyle habits led to low insulin levels, and have been better able to manage their health as a result.

Madra is co-founder of Toronto-based Xtreme Labs, a mobile development house that made the news last week for a huge investment deal. Former Facebook vice president and prominent angel investor Chamath Palihapitiya personally bought a majority share in Xtreme Labs, and has made a number of investments in healthcare-related companies and products.

Glooko Logbook for iOS was recently updated to version 1.5 with new features and support for six new glucose meters. Madra says that Android support, as well as a new cable for the iPhone 5 Lightning connector, is coming in the near future.

Canadians can purchase the Glooko MeterSync Cable and Glooko IR Adapter (for use with the ACCU-CHEK line) online at Well.ca for $49.99 and $21.99 respectively. The app is a free download from the iTunes Store.

  • John

    Old dock connector.

    Thanks Apple!

    Stupid product anyways.

  • John

    What a smart idea, good for them.

  • Matthew

    I use (and and prefer) the iBGstar system.

    The PROBLEM with both of these systems is; neither one is covered by a health insurance plan. The test strips are hideously expensive and because they’re new, (to Health Canada), they haven’t been listed as approved by the insurance companies.

    Till my insurance plan keeps up, I’ll be using than darn Bayer Contour USB.

    • Matthew

      UPDATE:

      This is a (semi) useful product for those that still have older meters that have a data port. Keeping track of one’s blood sugar levels is critical in controlling diabetes, so any tool helps.

      I’ll stick with what I said though; till the iBGstar strips are certified by the insurance companies, I’m stuck using the (Windows/Mac compatible) Contour USB by Bayer.

    • GT

      I’d prefer the IBGstar system too. Health companies moove too slow. I took me a while to get my insurance company cover my contour USB.

  • punkrawkpunk88

    I use a medtronic pump with a contour link glucometer. Everything I check my blood sugar, it wirelessly sends it to my pump. Then once a month or so I wirelessly upload it to a website (free) that analyzes patterns and such and I can email it to my doctor. Anyone with type 1 that doesn’t have a pump is missing out :(

  • Jay

    I’d much rather see someone get a dedicated glucometer than a smartphone app that might crash or be wiped out if something happens to the phone’s O/S… Don’t trust a cell phone for something this important.