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7/11/2014
09:06 AM
Alison Diana
Alison Diana
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10 Technologies Changing Diabetes Care

Healthcare organizations turn to technology to reduce the far-reaching, costly impact of diabetes.
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Smart Lenses
Earlier this year, Google took the wraps off its smart contact lens project, 'built to measure glucose levels in tears via a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material.' The developer also is investigating whether integrated LED lights could show when glucose levels have passed above or below particular thresholds. 
'We're in discussions with the FDA, but there's still a lot more work to do to turn this technology into a system that people can use. We're not going to do this alone: we plan to look for partners who are experts in bringing products like this to market,' wrote project co-founders Brian Otis and Babak Parviz on Google's blog. 'These partners will use our technology for a smart contact lens and develop apps that would make the measurements available to the wearer and their doctor.'
(Source: Google)

Earlier this year, Google took the wraps off its smart contact lens project, "built to measure glucose levels in tears via a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material." The developer also is investigating whether integrated LED lights could show when glucose levels have passed above or below particular thresholds.

"We're in discussions with the FDA, but there's still a lot more work to do to turn this technology into a system that people can use. We're not going to do this alone: we plan to look for partners who are experts in bringing products like this to market," wrote project co-founders Brian Otis and Babak Parviz on Google's blog. "These partners will use our technology for a smart contact lens and develop apps that would make the measurements available to the wearer and their doctor."

(Source: Google)

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Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/29/2014 | 9:42:03 AM
Re: Convenient
A lot of times we see developers pick one platform over another, then develop for the second major smartphone platform within (generally) 6-12 months. As you can see from one earlier commenter, sometimes a healthcare device is the reason someone picks their phone. She mentioned choosing iPhone specifically because of Siri, which her blind husband needed. 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/29/2014 | 9:40:08 AM
Re: Double Advantage
I agree, @SachinEE. There are several possibilities -- cataracts, for example -- that I'm sure Google will explore with health partners (if it's not already doing so).
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/29/2014 | 9:35:29 AM
Re: Changing Diabetes Care
You're right, @tekedge. Also, I'm finding more payers (whether insurance companies or employers) are giving consumers more discounts for sharing info. For example, diabetics who agree to participate in a particular program, share their vital statistics and allow themselves to be monitored (often via a wearable device/app and/or occasional videoconference) get a big discount. The goal, of course, is improved health for patients -- and reduced costs for the payer -- a win for all!
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/29/2014 | 9:33:18 AM
Re: All Great, But Missing a BIG Piece of the Puzzle
That's a shame because, with so many healthcare organizations and developers now focusing on ways to help people live independently -- across a spectrum of conditions -- you'd think there would be a pump designed with independence in mind. I'm glad Siri helps your husband with his phone. I wonder if Google's Android voice system would be equally helpful?
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
7/29/2014 | 6:11:47 AM
Re: Convenient
Now this is a very resourceful and highly convenient way to monitor your own blood glucose levels if you are a diabetic. You will most probably always have your phone with you and the easy with which the app works means you can do the test anytime anywhere. So out of all the ten technologies in this list, this one takes the cake for me. I only have one question though; why is it only available for iPhones? I believe many other Smartphones would probably do the same job, or even better. No hating- I just don't love Apple that much!
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
7/29/2014 | 6:08:31 AM
Re: Double Advantage
Even though the primary purpose of the smart contact lens from Google will be to help diabetics control the disease by constantly monitoring their blood level, I love the way that Google have managed to introduce an additional element of functionality to the device. There are many other options that they could have gone for and still achieved the same results but am particularly impressed by the fact that they chose to do it in the form of a contact lens. This means that if the lens is made just right, it could also be helpful to people that suffer from eye defects along with the diabetes.
tekedge
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tekedge,
User Rank: Moderator
7/23/2014 | 8:35:07 PM
Changing Diabetes Care
I think insurance companies give their employees monetary discounts if they have regular checkups and take care to bring down higher health numbers. This has started working well for most employees who get their physicals done regularly and can catch the major conditions earlier or help prevent developing them. This will in the long run reduce health costs...
pamelahazelton
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pamelahazelton,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/18/2014 | 2:44:13 AM
Re: Blindness and Diabetes
[[Have you found any technologies]]

They're scarce and often difficult to understand. However, any blind users using JAWS or similar software to navigate the web will find that joining the user-base forums for those tools a good place to network and seek advice from other blind folk.
pamelahazelton
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pamelahazelton,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/18/2014 | 2:40:19 AM
Re: All Great, But Missing a BIG Piece of the Puzzle
[[Why, do you think, there are so few?]]

I'm at a loss. When it comes to certain tech, we're falling backwards. My husband's first pump had a piston rod that was akin to a standard screw, so he was able to follow a few different tones and change insulin cartridges himself - a great thing when I would travel. Now it's all electronic and, while it's "possible" for him to do it, the margin for error is huge. 

Plenty of devices (pumps, meters, etc) have some utilizable components, but none on their own allow for a totally blind diabetic to be completely on his own.

Best example I can give is his recent "forced move" to an iPhone. When his old flip phone, with easy to use "push" buttons (and a dot on the 5), and "speak out" numbers as he dialed gave up, we couldn't find a blind-friendly cell phone outside of purchasing a high-end exclusive one. Now he lets Siri do whatever she can for him. But for his insulin pump? We have to arrange for a family member or friend to stop by every 2-1/2 to 3 days whenever I'm gone.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/14/2014 | 10:39:26 AM
Re: Solution
Many apps, including those for managing diabetes, also help in turning back diabetes I would think. If you can reverse type 2 diabetes by eating better and exercising, apps (and/or devices like Fitbit, Jawbone, et al) should surely encourage patients to improve their health by tracking their exercises and diets? I know Montefiore, for example, was considering piloting a program using personal health trackers to treat diabetic teens, when I spoke to the organization's chief strategist a few months ago.
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