Digital health technology is developing rapidly to help people manage diabetes. People who live with diabetes often have a lot of health data. Technology can help organize this data so that it is useful to patients. While better technology has many potential benefits, the impact in the care for patients with diabetes has been limited until now. For example, about 80% of health data does not have structure or context. This makes it hard to access and use. Artificial intelligence (AI) can change that. AI can make both structured and unstructured health data available to support diabetes care.
Artificial intelligence has arrived
AI is “the science of making computers do things that require intelligence when done by humans.” This covers many different ways to mimic how a human brain thinks. Examples include visual perception, speech recognition, analytics, decision making, and translation between languages.
4 ways AI can help
A recent review of research showed 4 main areas where AI can improve and transform diabetes care:
- Looking for early signs of eye disease caused by diabetes (automated retinal screening)
- Reducing the daily burden of diabetes, like calculating a safe and effective dose of insulin for a meal
- Showing who may be at immediate risk for complications such as severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Using wearable sensors to help with things like food choices or creating an effective artificial pancreas for people with type 1 diabetes.
Many new AI systems are available today with more on the way. AI can transform diabetes care. AI offers greater accuracy, efficiency, ease of use, and satisfaction for people with diabetes, their doctors, family, and caregivers.