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New wireless technology could improve diabetes management

A company called Cambridge Consultants today unveiled an innovative new medical device concept for the management of diabetes. The technology uses NFC, the standard in close-proximity wireless communications, to integrate glucometers and insulin pumps. The prototype device was developed in conjunction with Philips, and could in theory simplify the treatment of millions of diabetics throughout the world. Furthermore, the invention could pave the way for an entire new type of medical devices using the same technology.
According to the WHO (World Health Organisation), diabetes has now become a worldwide epidemic. The new device links a glucometer with an insulin pump – the glucometer reads the blood sugar levels and suggests a dose of insulin. If the patient agrees they could just swipe the glucometer against the pump and deliver the drug. Cambridge consultants term this ‘patient-in-the-loop dosing.’
The company believe that the device is genuinely user friendly, and could inspire confidence in self treatment. Simple user interaction, better accuracy of insulin dosing, data logging to make sure the device is complying and the ability to administer insulin in a discreet way… the device certainly promises to break diabetes barriers down.
The head of wireless communication at Cambridge Consultants said: “NFC has the potential to be a catalyst in developing the efficiency and portability of medical devices for a number of applications. It both simplifies treatment and aids patient compliance, which makes it a win-win solution for easing the treatment of many problematic medical conditions. Initially, we’re developing a device that demonstrates NFC as a way of improving the management of diabetes, but we see strong potential for the technology in a wide array of medical applications including pain relief, asthma and respiratory care, gastric electrical stimulation therapy, and treatments for congestive heart failure or urinary urge incontinence.”

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