January 10, 2012
"While consumer technology advances by leaps and bounds, the devices patients use to manage diseases often seem stuck in the past."
January 5, 2012
By Walter S. Mossberg
While consumer technology advances by leaps and bounds, the devices patients use to manage diseases often seem stuck in the past. A glaring example is the glucometer, the instrument diabetics use to measure the sugar in their bloodóinformation they use to adjust their diet, exercise and medication.
These meters, which analyze drops of blood drawn from fingertips, typically resemble crude PDAs from 10 or 15 years ago. They offer little feedback and can't connect to the Internet to show results to caregivers. Most diabetics who use them log their readings on paper, which they hand doctors weeks or months later.
But that is beginning to change. Next week, a small start-up will introduce a new diabetes meter it says is the first with wireless technology that instantly transmits a patient's readings to a private online database, which can be accessed by the patient orówith permissionóby a doctor, caregiver or family member. This system charts the results to highlight trends and spot problems, and can be accessed via a Web browser or an iPhone app. It automatically transmits relevant feedbackósuch as whether your readings seem high or lowóand allows doctors to respond.
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