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iPhone App For Diabetes Gets $100,000 Grant

The developer, a college student, will use the grant to add Internet data-sharing to his app, which helps diabetics manage their health.
A Princeon University undergraduate has been tapped to receive a $100,000 grant for writing an iPhone app that helps diabetics manage their food consumption, blood sugar, and insulin intake.

The grant will allow Matthew Connor, a Princeton junior majoring in operations research and financial engineering, to expand an app he wrote with his brother to help diabetics manage their disease. Connor proposed building the iAbetics Web 2.0 Diabetes Management System, a Web site that will interact with the iPhone app, called Islet.

Diabetics need to keep careful track of blood glucose levels, insulin injections, and food intake to manage their disease and lower the risks of complications. But it's not easy, Connor said in an article on Princeton.edu.

"You can hand write what you eat and your blood sugar numbers," he said. "But that gets pretty difficult if you're on the go, and it's hard to analyze without manually entering your handwritten notes into a computer."

The app provides an easy-to-use system for diabetics to record what and how much they eat, insulin injections, blood sugar readings and activity levels. The program graphs the data to show how the activity affects blood sugar, to help diabetics manage the disease in the future.

Right now, the data is stored on the iPhone and can be exported as a data file, but with the funding from the grant, Connor plans to allow the data to be shared over the Internet, to allow doctors to access the records and help patients manage their diabetes, as well as providing quality data for medical research.

Connor came up with the idea for the app after watching diabetic family and friends struggle to keep track of food, insulin intake, and blood sugar.

Connor won second place in the Prize for Primary Healthcare competition from the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology, a nonprofit consortium of Boston teaching hospitals and engineering schools to build interdisciplinary collaboration and rapidly improve patient care. The prize was made available through the Gelfand Family Charitable Trust, which will support the annual award for five years.


InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on e-health and the federal stimulus package. Download the report here (registration required).