Where do we go from here?

Well it seems as though Apple isn’t the only high-tech cash rich company with a way cool whiz bang watch. Verily is also getting into the watch business as they just received FDA approval. Per a post on the CNET web site;

“Verily, part of Google parent company Alphabet, launched the Verily Study Watch in April 2017 to collect health information from clinical research participants. The watch has been used by thousands of participants in clinical research studies, according to the company. Verily says unobtrusive biosensing using devices like Study Watch could help researchers understand what’s happening in the body at a given time, as well as how our bodies stay healthy or change with disease.”

Verily also is making a deeper dive into the watch business as per a post on engadget;

“Google’s commitment to improving its smartwatch platform is about to extend beyond overhauling its software. The internet giant has agreed to buy some of the intellectual property behind Fossil’s smartwatch technology in a $40 million deal. While the two aren’t specific about the technology trading hands, the arrangement will see a “portion” of Fossil’s research and development team sign on with Google. The purchase is expected to complete before the end of January.”

Now let’s all agree on the following;

1. Smartphones and smart watches can be valuable health care tools.

2. These devices have very real and very practical applications for patients with diabetes.

3. Smart devices are quickly becoming the hub of the patient’s healthcare information.

Here are some things all this way cool whiz bang cloud enabled technology cannot do;

1. They cannot provide the want to.

2. Even as prices come down not every patient can afford them.

3. Try as they might these cash rich high-tech companies cannot overcome the fact that patients are human and humans unlike toys don’t always do what they are told to do even when it’s in their best interest.

We hate to be redundant, almost as much as we hate seeing the New England Patriots in another SuperBowl but let’s not go there, but diabetes management has never been and never will be about getting the damn data. For the most part diabetes management isn’t that complex, it may not be easy peasy but it’s ain’t rocket science either. Although you would never know this as everyone continues to be fascinated with the toys in the toy chest, managing diabetes can be done very well without all this technology when you have a motivated educated engaged patient.

There is no question that technology has helped patients who are motivated, educated and engaged but it hasn’t done squat for patients who aren’t motivated, educated and not engaged with their diabetes management. These patients look upon all these way cool whiz bang devices the way Momma Kliff used to look at an abstract painting valued at $1 million when she would say – “Someone really paid a million bucks for that”.

We suppose at some point the toy makers will wake up to the fact that their toys as way cool as they are cannot solve some structural issues with diabetes. But then again, we have been saying that for almost 20 years, so we are not holding our breath waiting for this to happen.

The question we keep asking but have yet to get an answer too is where do we go from here? We hate to bring up those pesky facts again, about as much as Saints fan hate the worst blown call in football history, but with every technology advancement in diabetes there has not been a corresponding improvement in patient outcomes. You can go all the way back to when glucose monitoring went from urine testing to BGM, which then went to alternate site testing which then went to no coding which has now moved to CGM.

Insulin delivery has gone from human insulin to analogues, from syringes to pens and pumps. Yet with all these technological marvels we are running in place when it comes to outcomes. Sadly, more than two thirds of patients are not under good control.

Now one just might think given these very real facts that the problem isn’t with the drugs we have or the technology but lies elsewhere. You would think that, but you’d be wrong as so far anyway these very real facts haven’t had an impact on the toy makers or drug companies. So once again we’ll ask simple but so far very elusive question; Where do we go from here? Do we continue down this same path which will yield the same results or do we heaven forbid try a new approach?

Sadly, we think the answer will be like the Patriots being in yet another SuperBowl.