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Diabetes is one of the costliest and most life-changing diseases, and 29 million Americans live with it. Part of the reason it’s so life-changing is the clumsy way diabetics must monitor blood sugar levels every day.

Picture iHealth Align - Device with iPhoneMountain View, Calif.-based iHealth Lab is trying to bring the process into the digital age with the introduction of its second smartphone-compatible blood glucose monitor in nine months, the iHealth Align.

The company’s first monitor, the BG5, was sleek, white, compact, and had a very “designed” look. In short, it looked Apple-ish.

The new FDA-approved iHealth Align (or BG1) is more of the same design-wise, but it’s even more compact — just slightly larger than the circumference of a quarter. The white, teardrop-shaped meter plugs directly into the headphone jack of Android and iOS devices and stores and displays readings using the iHealth Gluco-Smart app.

To read your blood glucose level, you take a small blood sample from the fingertip, upper arm, or thigh using a lancing device and a testing strip. The strip is then fitted into an opening at the top of the monitor device, which reads the sample and conveys the information to the app.

The iHealth Smart Gluco App for iPhone.

Above: The iHealth Smart Gluco App for iPhone.

You can use the app to manage your readings and track insulin. Since all the data is automatically sent to the cloud, you can choose to share glucose level data with your doctor.

“For many diabetics, the cost and hassle of managing diabetes on a daily basis can be daunting, so we want to help make measurement and tracking as easy as possible,” said Adam Lin, president of iHealth Lab.

The Gluco-Smart app is a perfect example of the kind of app that might one day integrate with Apple’s new HealthKit cloud-based health data repository.

“We fully expect to be integrated with Apple’s Healthkit,” Lin told VentureBeat via email. “We believe in giving the consumer options for how they want to view and manage their health data.”

The iHealth Align is available for $16.95 at the iHealth Labs website and at The app is available at Apple’s App Store and at Google Play. The company says it’s now selling the test strips at a reduced price, too.

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