In a striking sign of how mHealth tech is becoming of growing interest to the mainstream tech industry (and vice versa) a new glucometer for diabetics has been launched at the TechCrunch Disrupt Tech industry conference in San Franciso.
I think it’s great to see more innovators trying to innovate with M2M tech but it’s a little concerning that in the intro video founder Glen Tullman is claiming the Livongo device to be “the first FDA approved two way interactive glucometer“:
Clearly Telcare has had a device in the market that is FDA approved and has embedded mobile connectivity (enabling two way interactivity) for years – click here to read some of my thoughts on this solution – and any Doctor or Endocrinologist (the key prescribers of glucometers to Diabetics) who is enlightened enough to be interested in mHealth and be considering the step change that is required for the move to seamlessly connected glucometers will be very aware of their solution (as you imagine Glen Tullman would also be as Telcare is a AllScript Development Program Partner).
It’ll be interesting to see how big a market Livongo Health can make for their very different approach to glucometer design. A few big challenges I think they’ll encounter with their approach will be:
> While a significant proportion of diabetics can’t use touch screens those Patients who will feel comfortable using a touchscreen interface will presumably have familiarity with the super slick expensively developed iOS or Android experiences so wouldn’t they just prefer to just use their own smartphones with an app and accessory like the discontinued devices IBGStar made for earlier iPhones/iPods (with there 30 pin connectors) or the newer bluetooth connected or very low cost headphone socket attached devices from brands like iHealth (that are already available widely in Apple stores):
> Although there’s not yet any pricing information being made available I wonder how much the price difference will be for the Livongo device featuring a touch screen UI and pedometer above Telcare’s otherwise similar offering and how the Healthcare Payers that will ultimately have to come onside and agree to pay for this will welcome the idea of paying for extra functionality especially when some of it won’t be utilised by Patients (eg. pedometer accuracy will be a challenge as most diabetics don’t wear their glucometers).
What are your thoughts on this new touchscreen M2M glucometer?