{Diabetes Management} iDoctor: Isn’t this what we’ve been asking for?!

by Leighann on January 28, 2013

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.)


(E-mail and feed subscribers click over for embedded video.)

Yes, please.

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.

Further Reading

Diabetes Management

I’m a Mac, Diabetes is a PC

Insulin Pumps

Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Wendell March 13, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Thanks for posting this. I was enjoying it until the very end when he said “the patient needs to take control”. As someone who has sent numerous letters and emails to meter companies every year since 2005 when I was first diagnosed with type 2 I was miffed. In the 13 years only one company has made a meter with a USB port. Is this guy familiar with the world of proprietary ports, cables, and software. Even after you buy the specific paraphernalia for your meter (which is never available at your local drug store even if his a national chain) good luck getting the data off if you switch meters. Most software you still need to print reams of results to take to your doctor. Graphing, the simplest of computer functions is a joke. Now that every other industry has moved to wireless (my scale has wifi!), there are only 1 meter with wifi and they cost more than my cell phone. It is less than $5 in parts to add wifi to an existing meter. I realize its not that simple but it shouldn’t be 6 years after the first iPhone that we still have meters that are not more accurate (see the government standards that they have to satisfy), and you still can’t monitor them remotely, get data into out doctors hands easily, or “take control” as this doctor suggest. The device manufactures have been the bottleneck not the patients.

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