Managing chronic diseases like diabetes is a priority to lower overall healthcare costs. Now there are 21st Century tools that have the potential to transform how this debilitating disease can be contained.
A new reportby a national health policy institute, NEHI, provides a glimpse of how mobile technologies are reshaping diabetes management. These devices or programs all use wireless technology toprovide real-time reminders and alerts, and translate and interpret data over a certain length of time. Some applications have the added functionality of allowing users to share data with caregivers and physicians and feed educational materials to the patient based on trends identified.They fall under the three following categories:
Enhanced blood glucose monitors
These new devices use wireless signals to collect blood glucose readings, transmit the data and provide real-time information, all from a single device thereby removing the need for users to manually log readings using their smartphones. Ultimately they can replace the standard blood glucose monitors, according to the report. The first smart blood glucose monitor that the FDA approved was Sanofi Aventis’ iBGStar, which can work on its own as well as with an iPhone. Another FDA cleared device is the TelCare Glucose Meter which automatically uploads results online. It does not need any hardware like the iPhone but users can sync data from the device with an iPhone App if they choose to.
Data transmission devices
These are add-on cables are meant to improve traditional blood glucose meters by transmitting data from them to a smartphone or personal computer. Users don’t need to manually enter data although they do need to plug in the device to a standard blood glucose meter. The Glooko MeterSync Cable works with 11 standard blood glucose monitors and can hook them up to an iPhone to transfer the data. Another device is the iGlucose made by Positive I.D. Once a patient has enrolled on the system, the iGlucose device connects with certain compatible blood glucose meters to transmit the readings to an online database which the user can access. Patients may also choose to have the readings sent to them via email, text messaging or fax.
Mobile diabetes management platforms
Accessible through smartphones, these are largely disease management programs that patients can use to access educational materials, analyze and see patterns through the multiple readings. These programs can also send alerts and actionable messages. In order to target the patients, some diabetes management platforms are working with b-to-b customers s like health plans, large employers and pharmaceutical companies and trying to offer a more holistic and systemic approach to diabetes management. One mobile diabetes management platform is WellDoc Diabetes Manager, which apparently is so effective that it cut hospital and ER visits in half in a program sponsored by the D.C. Department of Health. The company is also planning to release a new physician-prescribed Mobile Diabetes Intervention System app for Type 2 diabetes patients next year. It will allow physicians to adjust medication by analyzing readings and observing side effects to medications, among other factors.
Reserve your seat now for MedCity CONVERGE, to be held July 9-10 in Philadelphia. Discover strategies, solutions and startups in healthcare innovation. Be a part of this gathering where the entire healthcare ecosystem converges.