Diabetes is a condition that requires constant attention. Here is how technology may help us manage it. It can take some of the weight off our shoulders. One in 11 people has to deal with diabetes on a daily basis.
According to the latest records, 422 million people worldwide, suffer from diabetes. But, this number is growing each day. Diabetes is a chronic disease that can cause heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, or other health issues.
There are two types of diabetes:
Type 1 can’t be prevented or treated, but type 2 can. Therefore, it is very important to take good care of the body if we have type 2 diabetes or we want to avoid getting type 1. While type 1 is harder to control, there are multiple ways we can keep it in check.
How Can Technology Help?
Many researchers have tried to come up with the best ways they can help those with diabetes manage their condition. As a result, they have devised some amazing gadgets that might help people deal with this condition.
Here is everything about these new technological devices.
1. Artificial Pancreas
An artificial or bionic pancreas replicates a healthy version of an organ. It allows patients with diabetes to live a more comfortable and easier life, in a sustainable way. This device can help people measure their blood glucose levels at all times.
This Curalife was developed by engineers from Boston University. Moreover, a computer algorithm allows the device to monitor glucose levels and deliver both glucagon and rapid-acting insulin to the body. However, it was not available for commercial use.
Since there was no other device on the market that can constantly monitor blood glucose levels and supply the body with insulin automatically, creative people invented their own DIY method. As a result, Dana Lewis tried the artificial pancreas, and she has been using it ever since.
Furthermore, 2 years after she obtained the device, the Drug Administration, and US Food, finally approved it.
2. Small Pocket-Sized Gadgets
Those with diabetes have to carry test strips, meters, and lancing devices everywhere they go. Therefore, such a tiny, or in this case, pocket-size gadget, can be perfect for managing this condition with ease.
This device is a glucose meter that has everything in it. Furthermore, this gadget can help effectively and accurately manage diabetes. For more than twenty-five years, Medtronic tried to help people with diabetes with their complex insulin pumps.
But, now, with its newest and personalized hybrid closed-loop system, it seems that the company is much closer to building its own artificial pancreas. Moreover, in 2016, the company announced its partnership with IBM Watson.
Together, they announced their newest demo for the app that might give patients the information they need about their insulin level and warn them if their blood glucose levels drop significantly. Also, this device contains calendar details and wearable tracers or calendars.
3. Digital Contact Lenses
Google Glass and Novartis agreed to work together to develop the most stunning digital contact lens. These lenses are supposed to give us more information about the levels of blood glucose. They can measure these levels from tears.
Furthermore, they are supposed to contain an ultra-slim and incredibly tiny microchip that would be embedded on the thin sides of the lens. In addition, it should send data about glucose levels and properly measure the user’s changing levels.
Finally, the company hoped to bring the product to the market around 2020, but it seems that it could be closer. However, there is no news yet about its release.
4. Digital Tattoos
Scientists have created an electronic skin patch that can sense the high levels of blood glucose in the system. Once the skin patch senses the excess glucose, it automatically injects drugs into the body by heating the needles that will penetrate the skin.
This prototype was created by Curalife, who hopes to one day spread the product around the world so that every patient with diabetes can live their life peacefully.
5. Food Scanners
Most of us have no idea what we are eating. But, these food scanners might be able to shed some light on that story. In addition, it should tell us how much sugar a certain fruit contains, a drug, or anything similar.
TellSpec announced its goal to create a food scanner that can inform us about the nutrients a certain product contains. Moreover, it can identify the molecular content of all foods. However, this product is not for sale yet.
It is very boring to learn to manage blood glucose levels, especially for children. That is why an Austrian company NWPC, created a couple of apps that can make diabetes management a bit more interesting.
They devised an app for children that would help them learn about their condition.
Furthermore, it allows a parent to keep track of their child whenever they are not around. This app is like a game that lets children score points by completing certain goals every day. These goals will help them learn about diabetes.
7. Empowering Patients with Big Data
Many patients want to know everything about their bodies in order to live healthier and longer lives both psychologically and physiologically. Databetes helps patients learn and manage their condition by providing good measuring and logging data.
Moreover, it analyzes a person’s disease. Check Curalife for practical examples.
8. Wireless Blood Glucose Monitor
The most common glucose monitors work like this:
- We prick the finger;
- Add a drop of blood on the glucose strop;
- Wait for the results.
For someone who needs to do this four times per day, this can be annoying. That is why Abbott created FreeStyle Libre the wireless glucose monitor. It uses ‘flash’ technology.
To get the proper measures, a patient has to wear a sensor on the upper arm. This sensor will measure the glucose levels in the interstitial fluid. Plus, it is a device that is incredibly accurate, and it can measure data every minute.
Lastly, every day there are more and more devices that can help us properly manage our diabetes. These new technologies make it easier for us to keep our condition in check without uncomfortable pain.
Even though some gadgets are not yet available for purchase, they can surely be immensely useful.