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Lisa Latts Part 3, The Future For Watson and Diabetes Care

In part 3 of this Exclusive Interview, Lisa Latts talks with Diabetes in Control Publisher Steve Freed about the personalization of medicine as the future of diabetes care.

Lisa Latts MD, MSPH, MBA, FACP is Deputy Chief Health Officer for IBM Watson Health.


Transcript of this video segment:

Freed: What’s the future?

Latts: So, I think the future is more personalized medicine. So, I 100% agree with you that right now — I’m a physician as well as — it’s kind of a shotgun approach and so you go on what you think what’s in the literature. But the literature is all based on these large studies with large populations. And so, as we get smarter and smarter and know more about individual characteristics and how social determinants of health fit in, and all the other things that make us who we are as people, we’re going to start to make better choices, I agree, and Watson can be very helpful there. We’re sponsoring a panel tomorrow night in partnership with the ADA and leaders from various segments of the diabetes community to talk about health equity and disparities in diabetes care, because one of the other things we see as I’m sure you’re aware is that diabetes care is not equal across all racial and ethnic groups. And so, there’s a huge opportunity to get smarter about how we use diabetes resources for different populations.

Freed: Is there something new for Watson this year besides what you just mentioned for claims?

Latts: So, Medtronic announced that their Guardian Connect and Sugar.IQ has gone live. And they announced a study that we just released, looking at individuals with diabetes who are on the Guardian Connect and Sugar.IQ app for 90 days and found that those individuals were far more likely to be in range in terms of their sugar. So, they had 36 more minutes in range on average per day, so 33 minutes less hyperglycemic and then less time hypoglycemic. So, again, using this artificial intelligence system is really the ability to help patients make more informed decisions about their own care in diabetes because diabetes is fundamentally a decision where patients are by themselves day after day having to decide, “What do I eat? What insulin do I take? When do I take it? What kind of exercise do I get?” And that’s really hard to make all these decisions day after day after day. And so, the goal of Sugar.IQ is to help individuals make better and more informed decisions because they have the data coming in that will help them understand how previous behaviors have led to their sugar changing.

Freed: Is that program available right now?

Latts: It is now. Yeah, absolutely.

Freed: So, how does it actually work? The patient comes into the office….

Latts: So, it takes in sugar data from the Guardian Connect monitor. It goes through an app. You enter your food that you’re taking and then it gives you insights based on previous patterns and analysis, looking at — so, for example, we were talking to one woman yesterday who had been using it and she had found that she had trouble with coffees. So, when she had a Starbucks drink or a coffee drink that her blood sugars were going all over the place. And so, she was using Sugar.IQ to help give her insight into, “Why is it that when I have this latte, which should be predictable in terms of its effect on my blood sugar, it’s variable?” And so, Watson helped give her insight that, “Wow, when I have it in on the weekend and I’m relaxed, I’m not having problems. When I have it during the week and I’m stressed, that’s when my blood sugar is spiking.”

Freed: So, how is it available? Is it an app?

Latts: It’s an app. It’s an app for the IOS system available to individuals who are using the Guardian Connect Continuous Glucose Monitor.

Freed: And what data supports the Sugar.IQ?

Latts: So, what we announced on Friday was the launch of this and the Sugar.IQ and this 90-day study that show that individuals have more time in range as a result of using Sugar.IQ with Guardian Connect.

Freed: And when was it made available?

Latts: So, it was FDA approved in February and I believe was officially launched and available commercially in June.

Freed: And currently how is it used?

Latts: So, it’s available for anyone, type 1 diabetes for the most part, who are getting multiple daily injections and want to use this as a continuous glucose monitor.

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