The new Telcare glucose meter has received a lot of attention in the last few months (including Walt Mossberg in the WSJ and in the blogosphere from DiabetesMine), as well it should. The most important advance that this meter brings is that patients no longer have to do a separate task to record their glucose value in a logbook or to download their meters. Currently, the only way for a provider to see a patient’s glucose values is for either a) the patient to copy them down onto paper from the meter, or b) the patient or physician to download the data off the meter. Both of these steps have proven to be barriers to efficient transmission of information. The Telcare system removes this barrier because there is no extra step required once the patient checks his or her glucose. It is all part of the same, usual workflow. Brilliant.
The drawback is that you have to use Telcare’s hardware. You can’t use your Contour meter or Freestyle meter, etc. This limitation will, in my view, slow adoption of this technology.
But, it is an exciting advance nonetheless.
One other noteworthy fact is that the Telcare system uses Qualcomm’s wireless technology. Qualcomm has established themselves as leaders in mobile health and this certainly won’t be the last innovation that uses their technology.