Sulli the Diabetes Guru: Your Diabetes Voice Assistant


 

Let’s face it, a diagnosis with diabetes is a lot. It’s easy to forget all the information that is thrown at you by your doctor or get lost in the endless pamphlets of facts that you come home with. You may be asking yourself, “What should I eat? What are the symptoms of high blood sugar? Should I exercise after I eat?” Now, let us introduce you to Sulli the Diabetes Guru, a free on-demand, voice assistant by Roche Diabetes Care available through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, for people newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Sulli is intended to incorporate 40 years of diabetes knowledge into an accessible user-friendly voice experience. In addition to answering questions, users are able to set reminders to take medication, get lifestyle advice, and help locate the nearest blood glucose monitor retailer. Sulli can help users with Type 2 navigate the complexities of their diagnosis and provide fast and easy solutions to many of the questions that may arise with diabetes.

In a press release, Matt Logan, Vice President of Marketing at Roche Diabetes Care, said, “Diabetes is a full-time job and can be overwhelming, especially during these uncertain times. With Sulli the Diabetes Guru just a voice-command away, getting expert answers, and diabetes management support is as easy as picking up the phone or messaging a friend.”

How to Use Sulli the Diabetes Guru:

  1. To ask a question using your Alexa device, all you need to say is, “Alexa, open Sulli the Diabetes Guru.” For Google devices, simply say, “Hey Google, talk to Sulli the Diabetes Guru.”
  2. Ask your question (ex. Can you tell me about insulin?) or follow along with the step-by-step guide.

Sulli will offer to take you through the diabetes guide, which covers basic topics such as medications, exercise, diet, mental health, and monitoring. At the end of each section in the guide, Sulli refers to additional resources from other diabetes organizations and websites, such as Beyond Type 2’s exercise guide.

Diet

For people with Type 2 diabetes who are newly diagnosed, one of the first questions asked is: “What should I be eating?”

Fortunately, you can ask that question to Sulli, who will navigate you through the “Diet Tips” guide. In the guide, Sulli offers a wealth of nutrition education basics. You can learn about counting carbs, as well as portion sizes, and information about the macronutrients such as fats, carbohydrates, and protein.

Another important topic for people with Type 2 diabetes is cravings. When adjusting to a new life with T2D, especially from a nutrition perspective, cravings can become a real issue and hinder one’s progress to reach their glycemic goals. For example, Sulli’s tips on beating hunger cravings include testing glucose to ensure you’re not experiencing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and drinking a glass of water and waiting 20 minutes for the hunger to subside.

Exercise

Aside from diet and nutrition, exercise is another hot topic among people newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. One of the key recommendations from Sulli is to find movements you enjoy because you’re more likely to stick with it. It also reiterates the recommendation from the American Diabetes Association of dedicating 30 minutes to exercise, five days per week. But if squeezing in 30-minute workouts is too much for you, try to break it down into 5 or 10 minutes throughout the day. For example, going for a walk around the block a few times a day counts towards your 30-minute goal; every movement of physical activity adds up. Sulli also covers different types of exercises that are helpful — no gym membership needed — such as walking, low-impact exercises, and high-intensity interval training.

Medication

The medication guide covers oral medications and insulin. One of the impressive features in this guide is how easily Sulli breaks down the function of insulin, why people with diabetes may be prescribed it, and concepts such as onset, peak time, and duration of insulin in the body. In regards to oral medications, Sulli informs what common questions patients with Type 2 diabetes should ask their healthcare providers:

  1. How many pills should I take?
  2. How often?
  3. Should I take them with or without food?
  4. What if I forget to take my doses?
  5. Are there any side effects?
  6. What should I do if I experience side effects?
  7. Will these medications interfere with other diabetes or non-diabetes-related medications I’m taking?

After completing this tutorial, Sulli will ask you if you’d like to set reminders to take your medications at certain times of the day, a helpful feature for those adjusting to their new routine with diabetes.

Monitoring

The guide to diabetes monitors provides an overview of the purpose of blood glucose meters, why it’s important for people with diabetes to check their blood sugar regularly, and refers to the Accu-Chek website if you need help choosing a meter. Need help finding a meter? Sulli can take care of that for you. Simply ask it to find a retailer near you to purchase diabetes supplies.

Another helpful tip this section provides is how to check your blood sugar and track your glucose using the mySugr App. Though this isn’t included in the monitoring section, if you ask Sulli about A1C, the app will go into what the term means, why it’s done, and how often you should get your A1C checked.

Give Sulli the Diabetes Guru a Try Today

With a Type 2 diagnosis, it’s always helpful to have answers, including information about how mental health impacts diabetes care, at your fingertips about what it means to make changes to your daily routine.

Although the app does provide tips for living with diabetes, it does not provide medical advice. If any medical advice is needed, please contact your doctor and discuss options with your medical team.

Overall, Sulli the Diabetes Guru is here to help you live your best life. Beginning a new life with diabetes can be overwhelming, but having a new resource to give you practical tips to incorporate in your daily life can make the adjustment easier.

Want to learn more about Sulli the Diabetes Guru? Watch the video provided by Accu-Chek below!


This content was made possible with support from Roche Diabetes Care, a Founding Partner of Beyond Type 2. 

WRITTEN BY Makaila Heifner , POSTED 10/16/20, UPDATED 10/21/20

Makaila was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 16 months old. Before joining the Beyond Type 1 team in 2019, she worked at several diabetes camps, including Camp Leo and DYF. Makaila earned her BA in Global Studies and a minor in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. When she isn’t editing articles, Makaila is a fan of soup, public radio, and live music. Check her out on Instagram: @makailaheifner.