Innovara Digest: Advances in Diabetes Care
Diabetes plagues about 422 million people worldwide and is one of the leading causes of death in the world, according to the WHO. Fortunately for diabetes patients, September and October were great months for advances in diabetes care.
DIY Artificial Pancreas Funding: JRDF announced an initiative to provide funds and regulatory/liability guidance for DIY artificial pancreas projects. Aaron Kowalski, Chief Mission Officer at JDRF, remarked: “there’s been this DIY movement in the diabetes community, and what we’ve seen has been innovation such as cell phone integration, iWatch integration, customizability — just really impressive, and it’s helped a fair number of people.”
- Alexa Diabetes Challenge: Amazon Web Services announced Sugarpod, a diabetes care platform, as the winner of the Alexa Diabetes Challenge. Sugarpod “provides tailored tasks based on patient preferences, delivered via voice, mobile, video, and web interactions; includes a smart foot scanner.”
- Abbott Freestyle Libre: Already available in 39 countries, the Abbot Freestyle Libre was approved by the US FDA in late September. This device uses a patch to monitor the wearer’s glucose level without the need for a fingerstick. The wearer simply scans the patch using a special reader to see up to eight hours of data.
- Insulin-releasing smart cells: In a recent Nature Chemical Biology article, researchers from the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State reported the development of artificial cells that keep blood sugar levels steady for up to five days. The team is currently developing a disposable skin patch to administer the cells.
- Samsung’s 1Drop: Samsung announced their newest spin-out company, 1Drop – a glucometer that attaches to the back of a Samsung phone and uses its camera to analyze blood samples. See 1Drop in action:
Fitbit Partnerships: In Fitbit’s Q3 earnings call, CEO James Park discussed a new partnership with Dexcom and Medtronic that will allow Fitbit users to display glucose monitoring data. Park was optimistic about the possible diabetes care opportunities that the partnerships allowed: “I think, secondly, the bigger opportunity might come in the form of programs and coaching on top of the data in the devices that really guide people to changes in either their nutrition, their activity, or other lifestyle behaviors that have the opportunity to keep people from moving from prediabetic to diabetic or even the possibility of reversing diabetes itself.” Self-management platform One Drop has already announced an integration with Fitbit, allowing users to view their Fitbit data from within One Drop.
What are your favorite recent developments in diabetes care? Tell us!