Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lilly Glucagon Mobile App

I’ll admit it . . . .  glucagon scares me.  So far I’ve been fortunate enough to never have needed a loved one to administer it to me, but that doesn’t make me any less scared.  The thing with glucagon is that it comes with a fairly detailed set of instructions that must be followed precisely before it is ready to administer.  And it gets injected with a huge needle.  In the event that I passed out and needed glucagon, it’s likely that Pete would be the one to give it to me.  I can’t imagine the stress he’d be feeling if I was in an urgent enough situation that glucagon was needed. Now let’s add in the fact that he is extremely nervous about needles - he doesn’t even like to prick my finger for a blood sugar check. My heart breaks to picture him frantically trying to unfold, read and follow the larger printed sheet of instructions in a glucagon kit while knowing my life depends on him and that huge needle.

A glucagon kit that is easier to use would be great, but until then there is a new mobile app out from Lilly which, according their press release, “serves as a teaching tool and can provide guidance for treatment with Lilly Glucagon for Injection (rDNA origin) during severe hypoglycemic events".  The press release also notes that the app includes . . .
  • "Information about severe hypoglycemia and Glucagon
  • Simulated practice demonstrating how to prepare and inject Glucagon
  • Visual and audio emergency instructions
  • Tools to keep track of kit locations and alerts for expiration dates
  • Important safety information"
  I downloaded the app to take a look.

Screen shots from the Lilly Glucagon Mobile App
I think this app is a really good idea.  The first screen shot shows the intro screen detailing some of the features noted from the press release, the second shows the home screen, and the third is a shot of the emergency instructions.  I particularly think the Manage My Kits log is a fantastic idea - since we’ve never used our glucagon I sometimes forget where we stashed it and honestly, I’m pretty sure it has expired.  This app will allow me to set one or more reminders of the expiration date - one month before, two weeks before, and every day for the last week before the kit expires.

When Pete gets home tonight, I plan to load this app on his phone too, and go through the tutorial with him.  In reality, it may not keep him any calmer if he ever needs to give me glucagon.  But the fact that he can familiarize himself with the steps on a simulator before hand, and will have emergency instructions easily accessible on either of our cell phones, does help me worry a bit less.


  1. Good idea...also, we use the expired ones to practice mixing the vials and then administer into an orange. so once every two years, one of us parentals gets a "real life" practice. :)

  2. Thanks for sharing this. Bean's school is going to be the practice school for the new regulations to allow non-medical staff to be trained to give glucagon. This will be a great addition to the training...and something the staff can put on their phones for future reference!

  3. This App looks very helpful -- That big needle is really not a problem, though it does look daunting. And I taught the supervisors at work how to administer it. When the time came for one of them to administer the glucagon, they had my typed instructions there to follow. This App will accomplish the same, more clearly and more easily, I think. And I hope it helps you lose some of your fears. The Glucagon Kit is a real gift, and hopefully the app will make it familiar and simpler to administer. 8-)

  4. Thanks, I'd read the press release but couldn't find the app until now! I've forwarded the app info to my daughter's teachers, principal, school nurse (one day a week?!), friends, and family because honestly, I have so much t1d education to impart that I'm exhausted. And bewildered.

  5. This is a great idea, and I'm glad its out there! I just wish they'd show some love for us Android-loyalists. It doesn't appear to be available for my phone.

  6. Thank you for this! I didn't know it existed and forwarded it to my mom and others who spend time with my daughter. Good review for myself as well.

  7. I have had to give this shot to both my husband and my son! THANK YOU for letting us know about the app. It will make it easier to train others as well!!

  8. This is a very helpful blog, Karen. Thanks!! I have never purchased any glucagon. My wife has always used glucose tabs when I needed assistance. We were married in 1964 and then we used sugar stirred in water. Times have changed a lot!!


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