Diabetes is a major disease and killer in this century. There are 29.1 million diabetics in the US alone, according to a recent survey. This figure is also a representation of the large degree of diabetes prevalence worldwide. Type 2 diabetes, which is the more common form of diabetes, is characterized by obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and a sugar-rich diet. It is not surprising that a large portion of Americans suffer from this particular disorder due to the sugar-rich content of their available diets. Type 1 diabetes, though not as common, is the more dangerous form. This form of diabetes is hereditary, and is characterized by individuals with an inability to produce adequate amounts of insulin, necessitating patients to take insulin daily to survive.
How Can Technology Solve This?
Technology can assist and even solve the problem of diabetes in several ways. Many of these ways are already in effect today, and some of them are currently under development. Here are some of them:
Many monitoring applications are currently available for patients who are susceptible to diabetes or actively trying to manage the disorder. These include smartphone apps which can be used to monitor the sugar intake of the user. These apps are by far the most common of the technologies currently in play. Some examples include Glooko, Glucose Buddy, DBees and many other to fit individual cases and lifestyles. Many of these also include healthy eating tips and recipes.
A diabetic can easily set reminders using certain apps that time with his schedule, to remind him to take drugs and injections at appropriate times. This ensures that treatment is followed in the right order to avoid danger situations. The app sends alerts at the programmed times via messages, mails or ping deliveries.
Some of the future technologies being created include the Smart Contact lens from Google. This lens would enable wearers to be constantly updated on their blood sugar levels and this would ensure that they make the necessary adjustments to diet, lifestyle and medication in real time. Others are the Smart pumps, which act as automatic injectors for pumping insulin right into the bloodstream of those suffering from the disorder. Researchers are also developing a bionic pancreas that should ease production of insulin, and various techniques for the genomic control and modification of patients suffering from the disorder to prevent inheritance in their offspring and to stop the exhibition of the disease.
Big Data for Diabetics
The various technological tools available do not simply provide a way to monitor the progress of the disorder and help to manage it. The cloud connectivity of most of the apps also helps to create a big data collation unit, from where a baseline can be created to anticipate the danger areas of the disorder and to note the spread rate of the disease. This is the first time this amount of data can be collated, and it promises a veritable tool in the fight against the spread of the disease. Diabetes is prevalent in many peoples and cultures, not only in America, and a technological approach to its solution stands to be the greatest chance that we may have against the spread of the disorder.