There is now a new way to control diabetes and manage blood sugar level just by using an iPhone. Blake Atkins, a teenage diabetic, used to get a lot of texts from his concerned mother daily when he was at school about maintaining his blood sugar. Diagnosed 4 years ago with Type 1 Diabetes, Blake knows his mom is just worried and needs to check if he’s doing ok at school.
According to an NPR story, Blake and his mom, Lori, both have found a way to track when his blood sugar levels are out of the normal range. She can also warn him if something is not ok.
“I do like that my mom can look at my numbers,” says Blake, from San Carlos, Calif. “It keeps me sane. It helps keep her sane.”
Several months ago, Blake’s endocrinologist, Dr. Rajiv Kumar of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University, invited the family to enroll in a new pilot program that turns an iPhone into a tool for home health monitoring. Blake is now one of the early patients trying Apple’s new health service, called HealthKit, launched in 2014 and being tested in many hospitals.
Here’s how it works for Blake:
- A device called a continuous glucose monitor is attached to his body and uses a tiny needle just under his skin to check his blood glucose levels every few minutes.
- The monitor has a Bluetooth connection and, with Blake’s permission, the data travels to the HealthKit data repository on his phone.
- From there, Blake’s health information is sent to his medical record through an app that his doctor uses.
- Blake’s mother can see his readings in real time as the designated caregiver.
- Kumar, if needed, also can see Blake’s glucose levels with a three-hour time delay.
“I usually check in on Blake’s glucose levels every lunchtime when he’s at school,” Lori says. “He doesn’t usually know or care, as it’s all through the mobile phone.”
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