Written by Amy Tenderich
| Published on July 9, 2009
Did I say I was finished reviewing the fabulous submissions in this year's DiabetesMine Design Challenge? Well I lied, sorry. There's one more design that came very close to winning that I'd like to share today.
Remember how we said the Grand Prize winner LifeCase/LifeApp — a design concept that converts your iPhone into your glucose monitor + insulin pump controller — could easily be extended to include continuous glucose monitoring capabilities? Well, this is probably what it would look like:
Remora Continuous Glucose Monitoring System
Is this not brilliant? When you think about it, why in the world isn't all of our required diabetes/health functionality already being built right into the smartphones we all carry around with us constantly anyway? Why keep developing a bunch of separate hardware units?
What's especially powerful here is how integration with the phone allows for automatic emergency procedures: if your BG dips too low and you don't respond to the alarms, the phone automatically calls 911 and your emergency contacts, and the built-in GPS capabilities let medics now exactly where you're located.
A masterful vision of how CGM systems can and should work for us.
Thank you, Troy Kyle!
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Amy, can you tell us why this design didn't win? After viewing this and the winning entry I cannot see why the Remora (LOVE that name!) didn't have an edge over the LifeCase. This seems far more do-able and something more adapatable to those of us who don't use pumps. I can also see the potential for modifications, i.e. a texting capability that could send via wireless in place of emergency 911 calls, in case the user has an iTouch and not an iPhone. The designer being a PWD is also a major 'plus' for me.
Brilliant - design, designer and idea! I want one and hope to see something like this soon. I'm so glad there are so many clever people out there. This application makes much logical sense.
I love the design of the the sensor / transmitter. I am though, as with many of the designs, not entirely convinced that any application associated with any smart phone manufacturer will be feasible. By the time they submit to the FDA, the smart phone will no longer exist. I think that a change to the approval process is what will really be needed for these great designs to be available to all people with diabetes.
Great concept, but it's rare to have a cell signal in a subway station, so the automatic call at the end of the worst-case-scenario probably wouldn't work.
Beautiful concept. Create this software application in different formats to work with Apple and Google phones regardless of how often the phones are updated. You buy the self-contained, downloadable app and can install it on whatever phone you currently use. The software engineer gets a royalty and so does the CGM manufacturer.
A related technology has been out there, but is no longer available.Six years ago, I made use of the Handspring Visor, a PDA that allowed modules to be plugged in. I had a Therasense Tracker module which I plugged into the PDA for glucose readings, and then I had a separate module that turned the PDA into a cell phone. It was quite convenient, actually--and in essence allowed one device to be used as a PDA, a cell phone, and a glucose monitor.The one issue that I see with current technology is the accuracy of the CGM--it is a trending device, and still requires a glucose monitor. The iPhone (unlike the Handspring) does not allow for the incorporation of a monitor.On the other hand, it would be intriguing to see this idea developed, so that the iPhone becomes the controller of the OmniPod (or equivalent) and the CGMS.
John-You hit it right on the head. Super idea but ahead of it's time as insufficient accuracy of device would result in so many false-positive calls for assistance that the device would be recalled inside of a month!!
Love this idea! If anything would make me switch to a pump and iPhone, this would be it!
I am quitting this website and taking my D $$ with me. Amy routinely deletes my posts.
T1 in Boston|2009-07-09
Go Troy Kyle - nice work & great innovations. You do Boston proud! :)
The shape / flexibility of the sensor cover in this design is quite nice. It'd be great to have something like that for infusion sets, too, since I've find that they can also snag once in a while on clothes or seatbelts. I think a cover like this could probably be reused, just slipped over the sensor / infusion set each time its replaced.The software is really too light on details to be interesting. There are quite a few apps already that display graphs, and all of the CGM units have graphs. It would be nice, yes, but I don't think it's particularly innovative. Sending glucose readings and alerts via text isn't new, either. Putting it together with a CGM would be nice, but it's also rather obvious given that all of the component parts already exist.I do think this idea is probably closer to reality than the winning idea (which would require much more integration work). I think one of Amy's rules was that the idea should be able to make an impact on our lives in the very near future, so perhaps this factor should have been weighed more consistently.
FWIW,There are a number of subway systems that have cell service.
T1 in Boston|2009-07-10
...and don't forget that Amy assembled a panel of highly qualified professionals & D advocates to select the winner/s.
Scott K. Johnson|2009-07-11
This is a fantastic idea. I love it!
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