A couple of years ago, at the ADA Conference, Medtronic's booth featured a car equipped with glucose-sensing technology right in the dashboard. We all giggled. Cool idea... sort of. Right?
And what do you know? Yesterday, Ford Motor Co. and Medtronic actually unveiled a prototype of this system (!), enabled by Ford's SYNC technology, a sophisticated Microsoft-based digital interface that lets drivers and passengers control their cell phones and MP3 players via wireless connections and voice commands.
They actually unveiled a package of "health and wellness solutions and apps, aimed at helping consumers with chronic illnesses or medical needs such as diabetes, asthma or allergies manage their conditions while on the go." This included the glucose monitoring capabilities, location-based allergy and pollen reports, and voice-controlled health management services. Wow.
The two diabetes-specific apps are:
- The Medtronic Bluetooth-enabled in-dashboard CGM reader. (See PDF fact sheet here.)
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"Drivers with diabetes who wear a Bluetooth-enabled Medtronic continuous glucose monitoring device could enter a Ford SYNC-equipped vehicle and pair their device — as well as their cellphone — with SYNC, giving them the ability to use voice commands or steering wheel controls to receive audible alerts or center stack displays about deviations and trends related to their blood glucose levels."
Here's a video demonstration of "Joe the Diabetic," using the WellDoc service in his car (please excuse the blatant Ford-plugging). It has a whole conversation with him about breakfast and glucose tabs and everything!
And here's the companies' vision of how the Medtronic CGM-automobile hookup could help all the diabetics in the car, not just the driver:
So how excited are you all? The ability to hook up our diabetes devices to our mode of transportation is pretty Jetsons, no? Seems very useful, yet I'm sure some people will see it as too invasive and "Big Brother-ish."
I'm quite sure of this, when I think of all those who balked at the Test Drive winner in last year's DiabetesMine Design Challenge — an in-car system meant to safeguard against getting behind the wheel when your glucose is too low to drive safely.
Thoughts, our PWD Friends...?