A new type of wireless medical device for managing diabetes has been developed by Philips and Cambridge Consultants.
Using the close-proximity wireless communications standard known as near-field communications (NFC) the device will link glucometers and insulin pumps.
“It demonstrates how NFC can be exploited to simplify treatment for millions of diabetics worldwide, and could be the first of a new generation of medical devices that use close-proximity wireless communications,” said the firms.
“NFC has the potential to be a catalyst in developing the efficiency and portability of medical devices for a number of applications. It both simplifies treatment and aids patient compliance,” said Richard Traherne, head of wireless communication from Cambridge Consultants.
The device provides the wireless link between a glucometer and an insulin pump. The glucometer records the blood sugar reading and then recommends a bolus dose of insulin. If the patient accepts the dose, then they simply swipe the glucometer against the insulin pump, which could be located beneath clothing, and the drug is delivered.
This confirmation feature, which Cambridge Consultants dubs ‘patient-in-the-loop dosing’, should “enhance confidence and security, and allows the user to modify dosage calculations for lifestyle reasons”, said the firm.
“Initially, we’re developing a device that demonstrates NFC as a way of improving the management of diabetes, but we see strong potential for the technology in a wide array of medical applications including pain relief, asthma and respiratory care, gastric electrical stimulation therapy, and treatments for congestive heart failure or urinary urge incontinence,” said Traherne.
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