mHealth Takes On Diabetes

The 2013 mHealth summit will hold its final talks in Washington DC today, bringing the large-scale four-day event to a close.

Autor*in Jo Wilkinson, 12.11.13

The 2013 mHealth summit will hold its final talks in Washington DC today, bringing the large-scale four-day event to a close. Hailed as the biggest of its kind, the event promotes the use of wireless technology to improve international health outcomes, and a particular highlight has been learning about the various advancements of mobile solutions for diabetes.

The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death in 2030. It is a chronic and currently irreversible disease of epidemic proportions, and while it affects people from all nations, it is a particular threat for those in developing countries.

With 347 million people diagnosed with the condition today, not to mention the numerous more undiagnosed, collaboration and innovation is needed for effective treatment systems. So, what are the options? According to the 2013 mHealth summit, there’s quite a few.

Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA), the International Diabetes Federation European Region, and Telcare all presented and demonstrated practical, replicable end-to-end mhealth solutions for diabetes. For example, Telcare (developer of the world’s first celluar-enabled glucose metre) unveiled its Total Diabetes Management solution, which includes a monitored, assisted pancreas platform, as well as a Bluetooth-enabled medication dispenser. It also incorporates a novel Bluetooth-enabled insulin syringe sensor to record each insulin dose.

Insulin is an important aspect of diabetes because the metabolic disease can occur in one of two ways. It can arise when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the cells cannot effectively react to the insulin it produces – otherwise known as insulin resistance. Because of this, diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves.

Apps on the market

With the number of people suffering from diabetes only set to rise, mHealth options are hitting the market hard and fast. Manhattan Research revealed 95 million adults used smartphones for health-related purposes in 2013. With this in mind, here’s some of the top mobile apps currently tackling diabetes:

Glooko Logbook – Helps you download your blood glucose levels quickly and easily. It also enables you to record your carb intake, insulin dose, activity level and notes on how you are feeling.

MyNetDiary Diabetes Tracker – A powerful tracking tool that helps to identify your body’s relationships between blood glucose, weight, exercise, medication, and food and beverage intake. It then helps you analyse, plan and implement behavioural changes to control glucose levels.

And here’s one coming soon…

My AgileLife – A text messaging-based health engagement program that help individuals with Type II Diabetes master the behavioural skills necessary to manage the disease. It begins with reminders to test glucose levels, and offers individualised coaching and support.

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