Sanofi launches diabetes sensor for iPhone

29 Mar

Believe it or not, there are still some people who think smartphones are only good for updating Facebook statuses and playing Angry Birds. But even the staunchest of hold-outs are likely to have their minds changed as some real health benefits of internet-enabled mobile devices make themselves clearer over the next few years.

To that end, French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi on Thursday is launching its StarSystem diabetes management platform, which connects to iBGStar, a glucose-monitoring app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The StarSystem platform is a web-based resource that provides personalized education and health information in the form of online articles and videos, as well as over-the-phone coaching from experts.

The iBGStar is more interesting, though. It’s a $65 attachment that plugs into the bottom of an iPhone or iPod Touch that can analyze a diabetic’s blood samples for glucose levels. The app features a dashboard that tracks and displays levels over time. Moreover, the user can also email the results to his or her doctor.

Sanofi says the iBGStar is the first such mobile device for diabetes, although other health sensors – such as the iHealth blood pressure dock – do exist.

Taken together, such devices are the first steps toward the fledgling health care revolution, where regular people will have much more personalized – and accurate – information about their bodies. With better data, we’ll be able to detect problems before they occur and more accurately treat them when they do happen.

It’s a fascinating revolution that’s well documented by Dr. Eric Topol in his book The Creative Destruction of Medicine, which I’m currently in the middle of reading. Topol argues that while the internet and digital technology have completely revolutionized almost every industry, medicine and health care are still stuck in the relative dark ages. Slowly but surely, the industry is being dragged into the modern light of day. When it finally gets there, we’re going to experience some profound benefits to our collective health.

Smartphone sensors such as the iBGStar are only the tip of the iceberg, however. Things are going to get really interesting once injectable nanosensors, which will monitor us around the clock without any of our own conscious effort, become more commonplace.

1 Comment

Posted by on March 29, 2012 in health, mobile


One response to “Sanofi launches diabetes sensor for iPhone

  1. russellmcormond

    March 29, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Do people really want tethered devices (IE: devices not controlled by their owners, but someone else — in this case Apple as manufacturer) to have more information about their bodies? I doubt people are thinking about the consequences of this particulate mixture of non-owner controlled digital technology and medical devices.

    In the USA people are worried about insurance companies getting access to this information. It is unlikely that technology vendors won’t want to monitize this information collected by “their” devices, and sell it or otherwise exchange with business partners.

    Look up Karen Sandler’s medical devices papers and talks for more information on this issue.

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