The affect that food has on blood glucose levels in people with Type 1 diabetes is well established. Less clear, however, is the role that stress, time of day, activity levels and other factors play in regulating blood glucose. To better understand these dynamics, University at Buffalo researchers have launched a research project that combines artificial intelligence (AI) with data gathered by continuous glucose monitoring tools. Ultimately, the goal is to better understand the relationship between insulin and blood glucosen, empowering people with Type 1 diabetes to better manage the condition and improve their quality of life. "We're developing new tools -- combining data collected from diabetes monitoring tools with AI systems, as well as traditional time-series modeling approaches -- that could greatly improve how people manage their Type 1 diabetes," says the project's leader, Tarunraj Singh, PhD, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
Tidepool, which makes open-source tools to help diabetics better manage their condition, was born from CEO Howard Look's experience following his daughter's type 1 diabetes diagnosis, and frustrations with the clunky tech built for the condition. Like Look, many diabetics have long complained about the inadequate user interfaces, the poor interoperability and the lack of common standards they have to put up with in the technology they have to use. Tools for managing diabetes haven't always been as user friendly as they could be, with data from continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), for example, hard to extract and analyse using other tools. Coming from a Silicon Valley background – Look worked at companies including Amazon and Pixar – the Tidepool CEO decided the world of diabetes needed to change. What if it were possible to design devices in a way that wasn't constrained by VC funding and aimed at benefit, not profit?
Almost one in every 10 people has diabetes, and the number of diabetics has nearly doubled over the past 20 years. Despite that increase, development of new technology to help diabetics to manage their condition has been limited. Many diabetics still test and retest their blood sugar manually and inject insulin accordingly, just as they did decades ago. Now, however, a wave of new technologies are emerging that could one day offer new tools to help people with diabetes manage their condition. How and why tech's big players are poised to give the industry its biggest shakeup in decades.
For some diabetics, keeping blood sugar at the right level means several injections a day, every day. Injecting insulin is no fun, but for type 1 diabetics, it's the difference between life and death. Could technology be poised to offer a way to take some of the pain and stress out of managing diabetes? People with type 1 diabetes don't make a hormone called insulin, which lets glucose into the blood to enter cells and gives the body energy. Instead of using the insulin made by their pancreas, type 1 diabetics get their insulin by regularly injecting it themselves.
Bring together some of the world's best doctors, scientists and engineers and the latest technological advances and what do you get? Florida's medical institutions now offer new and better ways to treat patients with type 1 Diabetes, a chronic and lethal autoimmune disease. Through ongoing technology-enabled research, the experts also are greatly deepening their understanding of the disease in their quest for a cure. Already, continuous glucose monitoring systems allow patients to better manage their blood sugar. Instead of checking blood sugar multiple times a day, these monitors do it every five minutes. On the near horizon is technology that offers a pain-free way to inject insulin under the skin.