Diabetes is on the rise across the globe. In the UK, one in every 10 person suffers from diabetes which is also becoming one of the reasons of deaths in the country. Though the disease does not have any proper cure, the only thing people can do is manage it well so that it does not become life-threatening. According to the recent statistics, around 10% of the NHS budget is spent on the direct treatment of diabetes while a large share is also spent on complications which arise due to diabetes such as nerve damage, kidney failure, amputation and blindness.
Researchers from the Universities of Newcastle and Northumbria in the UK have designed a personal health monitoring system which makes the use of medical sensors, cell phones as well as cloud computing to manage diabetes in individuals. This new technology is being tested at a sporting event this week. Around 100 cyclists, most of who are suffering from diabetes, are taking part in a stage race where they will need to complete 2100 km and a climb of 22000 m. The race starts from Brussels and ends in Barcelona. Each participant is wearing personal blood sugar sensors on their arms which will be linked wirelessly to their cell phones. The race will be held over a period of 13 days and participants will wear the blood sugar monitor for the entire race. The data collected to a cloud data repository will be analyzed by a medical team in real time. The wireless sugar monitor costs around £40 and can be used for up to 10 days.
Professor Mile Trenell who is leading the trial said that they are demonstrating to the world how technology holds the potential to help people live with diabetes and how cell phones can help manage sugar in diabetic people. By providing people with real time information on their sugar level, it can motivate them to do the extra walking in order to improve their health.