On January 25, 2013, NBC’s Rock Center aired a segment called “iDoctor: Could a smartphone be the future of medicine?”
Of course your mind will go toward diabetes management as you begin watching this video. Haven’t many of us been asking for an easy way for our diabetes management devices to connect to our smart phones? Maybe even connect our children to our smartphones to ease our worries and help give them some freedom by helping them manage it themselves when they are away from us?
Towards the end of the video you will see that Dr. Topol uses a DexCom continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and it’s connected to his smart phone. (I don’t think he is diabetic, just monitoring himself.)
I hope (and assume) that DexCom is working on getting data off of the receiver and onto our phones. Maybe the new G4 sensor with longer range is a step in that process? Let’s hope the FDA helps move along technology like this.
What I see as a benefit to having it on the phone is the ability to e-mail graphs and reports to our endo. (Or even e-mail them to myself so that I can fax them in because our endo’s office claims that e-mail isn’t HIPAA compliant and will only accept old school faxes. Who has a fax machine these days? I use an online service but who knows how secure that is!)
It’s incredibly frustrating that DexCom’s new system looks Apple-ish (even if that’s an iPod from several gens ago with a click wheel), yet isn’t compatible with the Mac operating system.
I also want to see our insulin pump be Mac-compatible…and wouldn’t it be nice if it was integrated with our CGM and they BOTH could talk to one of our Apple devices.
From the transcript: “the patient of tomorrow is the biggest switch. people need to take ownership. they need to seize the moment and seize the data. the new medicine is plugged into you. it’s understanding you, which we’ve never really done before, and you drive it. you’ve got the data and you’ve got information that you never had before. wouldn’t you like that information? most people would. and wouldn’t you like to be helping to call the shots?”
With diabetes, the patient is the one who calls 99.99% of the shots. That’s not the “patient of tomorrow,” that’s our reality today. We just need the device manufacturers (and the FDA) to enable us to easily use our data to help with daily diabetes management and help us communicate with our medical care teams by actually getting the data off the devices and into our hands in a meaningful way.