exercises in compound storytelling

Thursday, September 25, 2008

convergent devices: continuous glucose monitors

The blue circle symbol used to represent diabetes.Image via WikipediaThere's an article in the October 2008 issue of Bicycling magazine on Team Type 1, a team of cyclists with Type 1 Diabetes. I can't find the issue itself online, but it includes a reference to a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) which estimates blood glucose levels on the basis of updates a minute or so apart. The article enthuses about the usefulness of a CGM for diabetic cyclists, for whom, as they put it "bonking means dying."

There are several problems: updates aren't really continuous, they're based on readings from interstitial fluid rather than blood, etc. but as far as I'm concerned the biggest problem is that they require an implant, a device that sits just under the skin and measures glucose levels in fluid.

I really want this sort of functionality in a convergent device; can you imagine your cell phone telling you your overall health level? Stress level? Fatigue level? Now if there were just a way to measure the contents of body fluids without needles or implants.

Thanks to Bernard Farrell here's a link to the Team Type 1 page.

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1 comment:

Bernard said...

The GlucoWatch of several years ago used a low electrical current to 'pull' blood glucose up for measurement. But it was bulky and (I hear) not very reliable.

The implant isn't all that bad and getting a reading every 1 or 5 minutes sure beats standard blood glucose monitors. On days where I used these a lot I might take 10 fingersticks. Whereas my Dexcom system gives me about 280 readings a day. The most important aspect of this is knowing which direction the readings are going in and how fast they're changing.

FYI, team type 1's web page may point to the article at some stage.