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Advances In Medical Technology
Improving Diabetes Care

by Jan Chait

Educational computer programs aren’t just for kids. In 2008, Spectrum Health, Cerner Corporation, and Microsoft announced a collaborative effort to develop a device for patients in hospitals called the Cerner Care Console. The goal is to create a user-friendly system that can educate patients about their care by showing treatment plans and lab results, lets them communicate with their health-care team, and also gives them entertainment options including music, movies, and video games.

Another tool for adults that can be used online or downloaded to a personal computer is the AIDA “diabetes simulator.” If you’d like to know how a change in your diet, exercise, or insulin regimen would affect your blood glucose level, you could just make the change and see what happens — or you can test your plan on a virtual person at www.2aida.net. There are 40 preset “people” with varying characteristics to choose from; you can also modify a “person” or enter your own information. The Web site maintains that it is “not meant for individual patient blood glucose prediction or therapy planning,” so it’s still a good idea to talk to your health-care provider before making any changes in your diabetes treatment plan.

New horizons
With so many new technologies coming into existence, diabetes care has the potential to become a distant relative of what it was even a decade ago. All signs are that technological developments will continue and probably even accelerate, given the expected increase in the number of people with diabetes. While a miracle cure is unlikely, advances in medical technology — both directly and indirectly related to diabetes — can make diabetes control easier, more convenient, and more accurate for everyone. Just think: One day, your grandchildren may ask you what a blood glucose meter was.

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Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provided on this Web site should not be construed as medical instruction. Consult appropriate health-care professionals before taking action based on this information.

 

 

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