A lot of attention for the Telcare glucose meter

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.

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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.

170 million wearable, wireless health and fitness devices by 2017

From mobihealthnews, ABI Research predicts that by 2017, there will be 170 million wearable and wireless health and fitness devices in the US.  While I assume they include CGM (continuous glucose monitor) in these numbers, having more people with diabetes wearing devices like the Jawbone Up or the Fitbit is likely to happen.  The real win will occur when the data from these devices gets truly integrated with glucose data and insulin data to help make future management decisions.  If all the data stays in silos, it’s unlikely to be of much benefit.

Glooko: A cable to download glucose data from (most) meters

While I haven’t tested this cable or software from Glooko, they seem to be on the right track.  Largely for insurance reasons, patients use a wide variety of glucometers.  Many patients have one glucometer for home, one for the car, one for work, all different brands.  Being able to download all of the data from different devices into one location is very helpful.  It should make many providers happy that the Glooko app appears to let you display the downloaded data in the format of a traditional paper glucose logbook.  While it currently only supports seven meters, they seem to be working on supporting more.