The first standalone medical device which can be attached to iPhones and iPods in order to measure the blood glucose levels of diabetics has made its debut in the UK.
The iBGStar, which has been in development by Sanofi Aventis since 2010 works using AgaMatrix technology and Dynamic Electrochemistry. Blood glucose levels are revealed on the user’s iPhone or iPod screen through the iBGStar Diabetes manager app which can be downloaded for free.
The app allows users to view results history, record glucose readings, the number of carbohydrates consumed, the insulin type and dosage taken at a specific time during the day.
Sanofi Aventis said that the device “compensates for many interfering factors that can often distort blood glucose results, helping to ensure accurate and reliable blood glucose readings.”
While the regular blood glucose monitors (BGMs) are usually palm-sized, iBGStar is the smallest at just one inch.
Sarah Johnson, from a research charity for type-1 diabetes JDRF, said: “We welcome all developments in technology that can help people with type-1 and type-2 diabetes take control of their condition.”
The majority of young diabetics’ responses are positive. Eliane Thomas, 25, from Uxbridge said: “This is a fantastic piece of design for us”.
Vanessa Oliviera, 24, from Poole, Dorset, said: “It’s a great idea. Its a two in one device.” She added: “I can measure my blood glucose wherever I am while listening to music on my iPod!”
However, some people have reacted negatively, primarily about the price of the device. Andrew Parsons, a diabetic from Essex said: “I would love one of those new blood sugar machines that connect to the iPhone, but at £48 that’s a lot to spend on a machine.”
The Diabetics UK information team said: “The device sounds interesting but it’s not really doing anything new and the question remains as to whether it’s doing it any better and so worth the extra cost.
“People with diabetes have varied lives and can have very different needs and preferences, ultimately their experiences will carry the final verdict.”
The device has already made its debut in the UK and other European countries such as Italy, Holland and Switzerland.
Diseases caused by diabetes:
There are more than 2.9 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and there are an estimated 850,000 people who are not aware that they have the condition.
In many cases blood sugar is constantly high and it can affect many parts of the body. Sometimes people don’t realize that they have diabetes until they face the symptoms. Diabetes can cause several complications if not treated.
These complications include heart diseases, blindness and other vision problems, kidney diseases, neuropathy, foot infections, skin problems (sores, itching), teeth and gum infections, sexual disorders hypoglycemia and depression.
Sources: BGStar, Diabetes UK
Main Image: Amanda McGahan, Latest Gadgets