New smartphone app for diabetes released

WPI Footbox
WPI Footbox

Worcester Polytechnic Institute investigators have developed an advanced smartphone application, called Sugar, for those with diabetes. The app can measure status of chronic foot ulcers.

The app is entering a pilot clinical study at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. It was built by an engineering and technology team at WPI with wound care, diabetes and behavioral specialists at UMMS. The work is supported by a National Science Foundation grant.

The new app runs on Android smartphones and can integrate a patient's personal glucose meter and scale to track blood sugar levels and weight, the research team said. It also tracks exercise and other physical activity based on user input, and can provide prompts. For example, it may say, “It's been five days since you last exercised.”

The wound-assessment system uses the smartphone's camera, which can track the wound area and then send the information to caregivers.

The pilot clinical study at UMMS will enroll 30 diabetic patients who are being treated for foot ulcers at the medical center's wound clinic. Patients will use the app for approximately six weeks.