“Stuff” is one of the evergreen topics of diabetes. What we use, the features we would like from pharma, and why we don’t have the amazing toys yet—we never seem to get tired of discussing it. Today in Diabetes Blog Week is the day that we talk tech, in particular our “fantasy diabetes devices.”
I think you can divide fantasy devices into (at least) two broad categories: (1) things like what we have now, and (2) things that act like an endocrine system. I’d love the latter, with its promise of a system or implant that behaves like a pancreas and gives us back normal glycemic response without any work. It’s going to take a while before we have replacement beta cells that don’t die . . . or CGM sensors that are accurate enough to make life and death decisions without our input . . . or control system algorithms that can handle all of the crazy variables that go into blood glucose.
So I think we’re on our own for a while longer, and we will need devices that help us make better decisions. I’ve said it before: we generate so much data that never gets used, and I’m sure that device manufacturers could build more decision-support, trend-spotting, and CDE-like functionality into our devices. And these devices should all talk to each other using standard, open protocols (like ANT+) so that they can integrate with all kinds of other devices—like my Garmin bike computer or running watch—and third-party software, which I would totally write if it were easier to get at the data.
Ideally, these decision-support systems would remember what’s happened over a long, ever-growing history, know what’s happened earlier in the day, and give suggestions about what to do next. The less work that I have to do the better.