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Diabetes management comes to the iPhone

On March 17th Apple unveiled it’s latest software upgrade for the iPhone and iTouch (available this summer).  This event featured a number of developers that helped Apple demonstrate what the new software was capable of and they each gave a presentation about how they were planning to utilize the software.


Johnson and Johnson is developing a blood glucose meter that is capable of “talking” to an iPhone.  


The meter will transmit, via Bluetooth technology, the users BG to an application that is installed on the iPhone.  Then the user will be able to do all of the necessary calculations in the application to decide their insulin dosage.


The application will be preloaded with carbohydrate values for foods and the user can input their tolerance levels and insulin needs.  To be fair, Arden’s OmniPod handheld device does all of this now (as do many other pumps) and it also acts as the ‘command center’ for her pump but this is a wonderful leap for diabetics that are not using a pump.


This iPhone integration is going to benefit the diabetics that inject their insulin immensely.  It will eliminate the guess work, do the math and suggest a dosage.  This automation will reduce mistakes, time wasted and the worry every diabetic feels every time they eat or drink.  The application or ‘app’ for those of you who aren’t using an iPhone will also keep records and graphs that the user can refer to, helping them to understand and manage their diabetes better in the future.


I want to applaud Johnson and Johnson and encourage every other meter manufacturer to follow their lead.  There is no reason that the technology that many of us carry in our pockets everyday shouldn’t be utilized to make the lives of diabetic easier and safer.  Sure Arden’s pump does what this application will do but it also requires her to carry another thing with her.  Additionally, if I’m being honest, I don’t feel like the pump manufacturers put much time into the design of their products; they are often clunky, ugly, difficult to hold and made out of cheap feeling materials.  If the OmniPod for example was integrated with an iPhone and other smart phones Arden may well be able to get through a day without anyone “seeing” her diabetes - she would just look like a little girl sending a text message.  


Check out the image below, the app is also capable of sending results to the user’s parents (that’s my favorite option!) or to yourself or your endocrinologist by email or text message; the possibilities are nearly endless.


Apple’s iPhone software media event can be viewed here and Johnson and Johnson's presentation begins at the 43 minute mark.

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