Having Diabetes can be very challenging. Trying to keep your glucose levels at their target and counting your carbs can be quite the struggle as anyone with diabetes can tell you. For people living with diabetes, it is crucial to be careful and track their food and check glucose levels throughout the day so that they keep their insulin at just the right level. You don’t want it getting too high or too low. It can be exhausting and time-consuming. But never fear! Technology is here. There are many amazing technological inventions on the horizon to help people with diabetes. Smartphones have played a huge role in helping technology make a big leap in assisting people with diabetes in tracking their food, notably their sugar intake. There are now applications that allow individuals to input their self-monitored blood glucose levels and automatically send their physicians a record of it. Their doctors can give feedback on how adjustments should be made to help stabilize their glucose levels. The app allows individuals to know right away if they are headed toward a problem and prevents hospitalization by warding off bigger issues before they arise.
Having diabetes has always come with the knowledge that you would need to inject yourself daily or use a pump to get your insulin. Neither is a great or comfortable option. Companies are now working on implants like the bioartificial pancreas which can automate drug delivery. A company called Viacyte is producing a bioartificial pancreas that has been tested in 4 humans successfully. The bioartificial pancreas has stem cells that are in a capsule that function like a pancreas would. The hope is this will be brought to consumers in the next few years.
Another big thing in diabetic technology is wearable technology! This can be all kinds of sensors that have a wireless connection to your phone and monitor your blood sugar level and can help personalize your treatment. Some are even able to deliver the medication directly into your body. Soon, we will see bright skin patches which can monitor blood glucose in sweat and will have the ability to release insulin when it is needed to correct a high blood glucose level. These patches will be able to work with your smartphone to send notifications that you need to eat. While today this exists with a wired connection, soon it will be wireless.
Not to be left behind in the wearable technology department, Apple Watch is reported to be working on releasing a personal blood sugar tracker. The reports indicate that CEO Tim Cook is trying out an Apple Watch which is connected to a glucose tracker to help test drive how it’s working and investigate how his blood sugar is responding to things like exercise and food intake. This is not at all surprising considering Apple’s big push with their health app on the Apple Watch. The details are still vague about the wearable, but it appears to connect to the watch from reports directly. In April, CNBC reported that Apple was gathering high powered bioengineers to help create a device for tracking blood sugar levels with the Apple Watch. All signs indicate that Apple is on a mission to complete this wearable device and bring it to market. Let’s hope they do so that so many diabetics can more easily keep track of their sugars throughout the day.
Special thanks to Jennifer Nicholson for writing this article.