CIMIT awards diabetes iPhone app $100,000 grant

By Brian Dolan

Islet iAbetics iPhone appMatthew Connor, a rising junior at Princeton University received a $100,000 grant from Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT) to build a more in-depth online portal for his diabetes management iPhone app, Islet, which Connor and his brother launched last September. Islet enables diabetics to record what and how much they eat, their insulin injections, blood sugar readings and activity level. Islet also graphs these data to help the users make more informed health decisions. Connor estimates that the app has "several thousand regular users worldwide."

"For instance, maybe you notice that your blood glucose tends to spike in the morning," Connor said. "If you keep good records, you might realize that this happens only after you drink a glass of orange juice at breakfast. Without good records, you may never know what's causing your problem. But if you collect and organize the data correctly, it becomes much easier to analyze what you're doing wrong and what you're doing right."

With the new funding from CIMIT, Islet will expand to feed the data from the phones to a remote online database so the users, caregivers or their doctors can access the records for analysis. Connor also hopes the data can be used by medical researchers: The iAbetics system will include tools to allow access to researchers while protecting the patients' privacy.

"There have been lots of attempts to use technology for diabetes monitoring, such as using PDAs and other devices," said Ronald Newbower, the chief technology officer for CIMIT. "But none of our reviewers for the prize had seen anything that addressed the problem with such a thorough and elegant solution."

Read the full article over at Princeton University's website here.