The management of diabetes has historically depended on technological advancement. The march of progress continues on in the present day, and 2015 saw a number of innovations that promise to make managing diabetes much less stressful than it was in the past.
Google’s Glucose-Sensing Contacts
People with diabetes currently prick their fingers upwards of five times per day in order to test their blood glucose levels with the appropriate machinery. Google’s new contact lenses may make this chore a thing of the past. Google’s system, which is still under development, would see the lenses equipped with sensors that can measure the glucose content of tears. This information would then be beamed to a reader device and display, which will enable patients to access the data gathered. This is just one aspect of Google’s commitment to diabetes care.
Dexcom G5 Glucose Monitoring System
While we wait for Google’s offerings to become ready for prime time, there’s already a continuous glucose monitoring system on the market right now. Dexcom’s G5 product uses a subcutaneous sensor. This sensor detects glucose levels and sends the information to a receiver. Users can configure their smartphones to function in this capacity, eliminating the need to carry around a bulky dedicated unit. Dexcom has made certain of its devices compatible with smarthome systems to allow users to share their blood glucose readings with loved ones and family members. You can thus safeguard your health while simultaneously letting your automated home manage your household appliances to conserve energy (see this resource for more details) and contribute to a more sustainable future.
Researchers from the University of Virginia School of Medicine have come up with a suite of coordinating components that together serve as an artificial pancreas. Glucose monitoring sensors, an insulin pump and smartphone software work together to automatically regulate blood sugar levels. This will eliminate a lot of the work typically involved in treating diabetes. The artificial pancreas is slated to undergo final testing involving hundreds of participants later this year.
Those affected by diabetes often have trouble feeling pain in their extremities, which leads to ulcers, infections and sometimes even amputations. Using sensors and fabric made of fiber optic materials, Smart Sox will make it easier for healthcare professionals to diagnose foot-related ailments by outputting the relevant metrics to computer displays. The Sox will feature alerts that will go off whenever they detect that something might be amiss with the wearer’s feet. These magical garments aren’t available yet, but they’re being developed at the University of Arizona.
Many people have turned to lightweight, easy-to-wear solutions from Fitbit, Nike and other companies in order to help them with their fitness goals. While the first such wristbands, smartwatches and other forms of wearable tech were designed for casual use among a lay public, manufacturers are getting serious about creating medical-grade models. We can expect a flood of companies seeking regulatory approval for their next-gen wearables, which will be able to track health-related information, such as blood glucose levels, and analyze it to come to accurate conclusions. These products will be used to treat any number of conditions, including diabetes.
There have already been several pieces of technology released in 2015 to promote the wellbeing of diabetes patients. As research continues into new ideas and ways of doing things, we can expect the perfection of other solutions in the near-future that will change the game entirely. We should note the fact that many of these systems are being designed for seamless integration with smartphones using mobile apps. While we can’t be certain exactly how they will play out in real life, there’s every reason to expect that diabetes care in the coming years will be much superior to the way it is at present.