Medtronic and IBM Launch a Sweet New Diabetes App

The Sugar.IQ smart diabetes assistant is the latest example of how artificial intelligence is changing the way people manage chronic conditions like diabetes.

Artificial intelligence continues to prove valuable across many healthcare specialties, but diabetes management really seems to stand out as an area where AI can truly make a direct impact on patient lives.

The latest example of the industry embracing AI's capabilities for the millions of people living with diabetes is an app co-developed by Medtronic and IBM Watson Health dubbed the Sugar.IQ smart diabetes assistant. The app is designed to simplify and improve daily diabetes management by leveraging AI and analytic technologies from IBM Watson Health to continually analyze how an individual's glucose level responds to their food intake, insulin dosages, daily routines, and other factors.

The idea is that the app will help people with diabetes uncover patterns that affect their glucose levels, which can help them make small adjustments throughout the day to stay on track.

According to data presented at the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions on Friday, people who used the Sugar.IQ app spent 36 minutes more per day in healthy glucose range than they did before using the app. This included 30 minutes less time in hyperglycemia (>180 mg/dL) and six minutes less time in hypoglycemia (<70 mg/dL). This represents more than nine additional days in a year that a person with diabetes is spending in a healthy glucose range.

Michelle Shaw, a Medtronic employee and registered nurse, has been using the Sugar.IQ app for four weeks through an employee preview program.

“Sugar.IQ has given me insights that I could never have uncovered on my own, even with 30 years of diabetes experience," Shaw said. "It’s been eye-opening and fun to gain new insights into my diabetes without additional burden.”

The app is available to people who use the Medtronic Guardian Connect system, a standalone continuous glucose monitoring system. It is currently available for iOS-based mobile devices in the United States.

Recently Medtronic also updated its iPro2 myLog app with FoodPrint report. The iPro2 myLog app is designed to give clinics a simple way to import patients' logged data during their professional iPro2 continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) evaluation. With the addition of Nutrino's FoodPrint report, patients' meals are graded based on their body's unique glucose reaction, making it easy for them to understand the link between meals and glucose variability, the company said.

 

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