Two Technological Titans Combine Forces To Help Patients With Diabetes Thanks To New App

Two giants in their respective fields hope to make diabetes management easier for patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Medtronic and IBM presented at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show to give details about a new diabetes app that uses real-time information to possibly predict low blood sugar events up to three hours in advance.


What The App Does

According to the Washington Post, the app takes data from Medtronic's insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors, and then feeds it into IBM's Watson supercomputer. Watson's enormous computing power then searches for patterns in the data that may make it possible for someone to take action before a diabetic event causes a health problem.


Forbes notes that this combination may make it possible for people with diabetes to change medication dosages or adjust their diets to compensate for a predicted event. Patients with diabetes already live with a delicate balancing act of too much or too little blood sugar, both of which can lead to medical problems. This app hopes to help with that, thanks in part copious amounts of data.

Research Base

The data collected by Medtronic includes 150 million patient days that come from Medtronic wearable devices. The anonymous data went into Watson's complex algorithm to come up with solutions for patients based on the information. Additional research delved into 600 patients that helped the app predict low blood sugar in patients.

The beauty of Watson's data lies in the volume of data it receives from Medtronic's devices. The more information the algorithm receives from patients, the better it becomes at predicting diabetic events over time. The app constantly updates when it gets new information, so the first incarnation due out in 2016 doesn't figure to be the last.


Helping Improve Lives

Medtronic and IBM hope to have the app ready by the summer of 2016. The ultimate goal of the app is to create a virtual medical assistant for patients with diabetes. A patient can input what may happen if he or she eats bran flakes for breakfast or has ice cream for dessert. The app may even suggest when to have physical activity during the day based on the data it collects.

Fierce Medical Devices states the app can send someone a text message telling the patient that low blood sugar may happen within an hour. The personal coaching aspect of the app can take into account GPS locations and a patient's schedule to make recommendations on activity levels, transportation, and food choices. In short, this breakthrough app can help doctors and their patients manage Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes better through real-time information.The Medtronic and IBM research partnership helps advance diabetes research thanks to the best technology medical science has to offer. Do your part to fund diabetes research by donating to the team of doctors trying to find a cure for diabetes at the University of Michigan's Brehm Center for Diabetes Research.

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