What’s new in the world of diabetes tech?
This seems to be a watershed moment when it comes to smart technologies for the management of diabetes. Just the simple act of monitoring glucose levels has seen many breakthroughs in recent months and years. Here we look at some of the trends in diabetes management
Innovators are making it easier for people with diabetes to monitor their glucose levels through smartphones and smart watches. Just in Pakistan, there are over 50 million smartphone users. In many developed countries, smartphone penetration levels can be as high as 80%. So it should be no surprise that smartphones emerge as an important companion for people with diabetes to keep on top of their condition. Smartphones house tools to help stay on track and live healthier lives. These apps can be useful to keep track of all the data and see it visually. They can also help educate and teach patients to spot trends, and support in decision making.
Injecting insulin by syringe and repeatedly pricking one’s finger finger for glucose testing is certainly no easy task. For people with diabetics, this is often cited as one of the most painful aspects of managing their condition – the fear and inconvenience of needles is often a barrier to keeping blood glucose in check. Scientists in the UK have developed skin patches that can measure blood glucose every 15 minutes, without any pricking.
SMART CONTACT LENSES
Tech-giant Google developed an innovative smart lens that can monitor glucose levels from the tears in a person’s eyes. This device will help diabetics monitor their glucose levels in the blink of an eye! (We couldn’t resist the pun.)
SOCKS & SHOES
Researchers in the company Siren Car have developed socks designed with pre-installed heat sensors. These socks help in reducing inflammation on the feet. They also help in reducing the chances of amputation, as they sense blood supply in feet, and can prompt when blood supply is low. They are connected with users’ mobile phones. An alert is issued when inflammation is detected.
Type 1 diabetics usually inject themselves with insulin. This is not only painful, but also massively inconvenient. Researchers in MIT and Harvard are working on an implantable device which produces insulin. This could serve as a replacement for multiple daily injections.
SMARTPHONE-BASED GLUCOSE METERS
In Pakistan, Medworks has launched Glu-Sage, which is a glucose meter that runs on the Medworks Android application. It conveniently plugs into the smartphone’s audio jack. Using the best in strip technology, it provides people with diabetes an accurate reading. The Medworks application allows users to store, view and share their data with ease.