10 Technologies Changing Diabetes Care - InformationWeek

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10 Technologies Changing Diabetes Care
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Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/11/2014 | 12:17:06 PM
Focused Condition
When I speak to healthcare executives at hospitals and payers, many focus on diabetes when they pilot a technology initiative such as big data, analytics, or other solution. In addition to helping patients manage and cope with this condition, more healthcare providers (from solo practitioners up) want cost-effective, efficient, user-friendly ways to help individuals never get this condition. Encouraging patients to eat right, exercise, and get regular checkups are all good advice -- and many people enjoy using apps to help them attain these laudable goals. 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
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7/13/2014 | 7:16:30 PM
Re: All Great, But Missing a BIG Piece of the Puzzle
Thank you for raising a very, very important point. I had thought there would be more voice-activated pumps and other technologies available for diabetics and was surprised at the dearth of these devices. Why, do you think, there are so few? Is it a technological issue (which seems unlikely, given the growth of voice activation in other areas); profitability; insurance; complexity, or something else completely? 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/13/2014 | 7:23:25 PM
Re: Solution
I linked to an April New York Times article that discussed how small advances in technology can dramatically increase the price of insulin pumps and other medical devices diabetics need to stay healthy. The article generated a lot of comments -- many negative -- from organizations such as the American Diabetes Association that point to the improvements these new devices deliver. I think it's exciting to see other ways in which researchers are using technology to help prevent and manage diabetes, things like using big data and analytics to figure out not only preventative measures (some of which are common knowledge at this point) but which methods are best-suited for particular individuals. Or designing a "bionic pancreas" or less invasive, painful ways to deliver insulin so more patients will be compliant with their doctors' orders. 

When speaking to healthcare professionals, they realize diabetes is expensive but in the vast, vast majority of cases these pros truly want their patients to get well or have happier, healthier lives for their patients' sake. It truly is a win-win when you have healthier patients and, btw, the health system pays less. 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/13/2014 | 7:26:49 PM
Blindness and Diabetes
Have you found any technologies -- apps, voice-activated devices or websites, or other tools -- that help blind diabetics? If so, please share them. 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/14/2014 | 10:36:01 AM
Re: Solution
That is one reason Cities for Life was so well-received in its area. Organizers called or surveyed organizations in the entire region that offered anything related to healthy living -- that included religious organizations that had exercise classes ranging from walking and zumba to yoga and meditation to farmers' markets and cooking classes. They then compiled all this information on the website so diabetics (and, to be quite frank, anyone else interested in a healthier lifestyle) could discover exercise or food-related places near to their work or office. Although they have not yet been able to determine the results (in terms of analyzing how knowledge translated into improvements in diabetes) they did see increases in usage.
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.
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?
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 | 9:40:08 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 | 9:42:03 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. 
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
9/24/2014 | 1:13:28 PM
Re: Solution
Of course, no lifestyle change is going to reverse Type 1 diabetes--proper diet and exercise will only help manage the disease. I resisted clicking on the link in an email i received today with the subject line "Diabetes Miracle," touting an "all natural, permanent CURE for diabetes." The techs Alison highlights are at least grounded in reality.


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