Gesture monitor Klue launches Type 1 diabetes feature

The new feature will give users reminders about administering insulin or bolus.
By Laura Lovett
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Klue, a startup that uses gesture monitoring to track eating behaviors, is turning its attention to Type 1 diabetes. This afternoon the San Francisco-based startup announced that its platform will now include a reminder feature designed specifically to help people with Type 1 diabetes manage their condition around meals. 

“The module will send the users a gentle nudge on their Apple Watch when they start eating just to remind them to administer insulin or to bolus,” Katelijn Vleugels, founder and CEO of Klue, told MobiHealthNews. “It is a unique opportunity here for a very low friction, delightful experience on the Apple Watch just to have that gentle nudge to help them remember to bolus.”

Klue’s platform can integrate with smartwatches and can measure how much a person is eating or drinking as well as the duration of that meal. However, the technology cannot detect what the user has eaten. 

“The technology can detect the when and the how, so the timing of eating, duration, the quantities that have been consumed,” Vleugels said. “The technology will not automatically detect the what. So the bolus reminder is really reminding them to bolus. It is not removing all the burden association of the decisions that have to be made, but it will remove the burden of having to remember.”

The latest feature will also include an automatic text messaging component. The user has the option to include other people on their data — for example, a parent can find out if their child is eating and how often. 

The app also includes statistics about the user's eating habits. 

Why it matters 

The American Diabetes Association reports that approximately 1.25 million American children and adults have Type 1 diabetes. Managing diabetes can be time consuming and complicated for patients. 

“It is a condition that is an extremely high burden on a patient. The start of a meal is a very high insight momen,t and very important decisions need to be made as the individual needs to decide how much insulin to inject and how many carbs they eat,” Vleugels said. “But first and foremost they have to remember to inject the insulin. So as we looked at our capabilities and our technology that can automatically detect when someone is eating, it really felt a natural fit to say ‘ok, how can we make a difference for these individuals?’”

What's the trend

Klue launched last year at Health 2.0 in Santa Clara, California. At that time it was primarily focused on helping people who were overweight or obese reestablish a healthy relationship with food and find out how to maintain a healthy weight, according to Vleugels. 

In May the company announced two partnerships. The first, with Stanford University, comprises a five-week clinical study exploring the company’s products on consumption behaviors. The second brings the company’s tech to Crossover Health’s Bay Area clinics.

On the record

“We are here to help people live healthier and happier lives. We believe that the future of healthcare delivery will thrive on personal, in-the-moment interactions centered around times of high impact,” Vleugels said in a statement. “The introduction of a reminder module for mealtime insulin administration is another important step in the realization of that vision.”