I recently wrote a post about the latest Google [x] project, creating smart contact lenses for monitoring blood glucose levels in diabetics and it got me thinking about all the various diabetes gadgets that are available to support what has been described as a DIY condition.
Hospital visits for reviewing my diabetes control and health are only once a year so its important that technology develops to support those handling and living with the condition, whilst there is no doubt diabetes technology is advancing I think there is still some way to go for this to be fully integrated into our everyday lives in a way that is less intrusive and almost manages itself.
I currently carry around a pouch containing my various insulin pens and needles, my blood glucose meter and test strips etc. and also my iPhone, I use an app called Diabetik which was crowdfunded via a Kickstarter project, this allows me to store all my glucose readings, insulin and meals to ensure I get a clear view of my overall control. I would love to have less to carry, insulin pumps start to explore this concept however to me this seems a bit too disruptive to my lifestyle, having something permanently attached to my body.
So to me there is a ways to go but the duabetes gadgets below get me excited about the future control of my condition:
Glucose meter that plugs directly into your iPhone or iPod touch twinned with their app you can monitor and store all your readings with only a small form factor addition to your phone which goes with you wherever you are.
This is one of the more advanced insulin pumps available that also includes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) allowing for more refined control and advance warning of hypos.
The appeal of this device is the fact that there are no tubes connecting it to a device, it sticks to the user and is a waterproof unit so can remain attached for water sport, swimming etc. It receives wireless signals telling it how much insulin to deliver and allows you to monitors blood glucose on the control unit. If they could transfer the functions of the control unit into an iOS or android app and integrate the glucose monitoring into the pod itsel rather than the more traditional prick and strip method, this might just convert me over to an insulin pump.
Similar to the iBGStar this device utilises your smartphone with a twinned app, this gadget plugs into the headphone socket. Whilst the design isn’t as slick as the iBGStar device this one holds your strips, the device and a lancet so there are some advantages, but again its not a true leap forward.
And finally something for the futuristic fans…
MIT created ink that could be used in tattoos, the nano-particles can keep constant monitoring of your blood glucose levels, surely this will convince my wife that a tattoo is a great idea?
There are clearly lots of great ideas out there and if someone was to merge all of these ideas into a single device we would be onto a winner, for the time being I think I’ll stick with my standard meter and insulin package.