Mathew discusses LifeScan's prototype iPhone BGM app in 2009
In early 2009 at an iPhone 3.0 launch event, Apple demonstrated how a LifeScan blood glucose meter could connect to the iPhone.
Anita Mathew from LifeScan, a Johnson & Johnson company, demonstrated the prototype iPhone application that would let users upload glucose readings from their connected blood glucose monitors direclty to their iPhone. The app would let users send their readings and a message about how they’re feeling to caregivers like their parents, children or physician. The app could even estimate, based on diet, how much insulin is needed after each meal.
“So imagine the possibilities,” Apple's SVP of iPhone Software Scott Forstall said at the time. “We think this is profound.”
And it was. A profound prototype. Now, almost exactly two years later there is a growing number of companies working on mobile-enabled diabetes management devices, services and apps. For many working in mobile health, diabetes management represents the biggest opportunity for mobile technology.
While we have yet to see the LifeScan BGM iPhone companion app launch, a number of other companies have launched apps and devices like it. One of the other big names in the space, of course, is Medtronic, which most recently announced a research partnership with Ford to explore connecting continuous blood glucose meters to Ford vehicle's onboard computer.
Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic -- which are the companies working on mobile-enabled diabetes management service that you have yet to hear about? Many are working to bring next generation diabetes management devices and services to market.
Below, is our list of 10 companies working on diabetes management services with connected devices and mobile apps that you should know. Who did we miss?
Telcare's diabetes offering is the Telcare BGM, a 3G-enabled blood glucose meter. The device wirelessly transmits glucose values to an online clinical server, which then connects to EHR (electronic health records) systems for clinician viewing. Caregivers now have an easy means of being alerted to out-of-range glucose values and failure to test. Users can also track their glucose levels over time via a variety of smartphone applications, which also allow for real time updates and alerts for parents of diabetic children and the elderly.
The TelCare BGM is currently awaiting FDA and EU clearance. Telcare secured $2.5 million in equity offering last May (of a targeted $4 million) and has partnered with Sierra Wireless and Qualcomm for the embedded wireless technology. The company plans on pricing the wireless device competitively against non-connected testing devices, making the decision by insurers to adopt the Telcare BGM an easy one.