Digital health is transforming medicine. For example, innovative sensor data, software, and wireless communication tools can improve health care for many people, including those with diabetes. As with other new technologies, there are three key questions to consider:
- How can the technology benefit people with diabetes?
- What barriers must be overcome to improve the technology?
- How will the technology be applied in the future?
Digital health revolution
A new article from Sansum Diabetes Research Institute presents six areas of innovation that may help people living with diabetes as well as their families. These may also provide measurable benefits for all involved in diabetes. The six technologies are:
- inclusion of diabetes digital data in electronic health records
- alarms to signal low blood sugar
- artificial intelligence
- diabetes technology security
- diabetes registries
To be successful, a new digital health technology must be accessible and affordable. Further, the people and communities that would most likely benefit from the technology must be willing to use it to manage diabetes.
Trust and access are key to ensure that digital health improves equity
Many new digital software and hardware technologies are being applied to diabetes monitoring and data analysis. The challenge is identifying which technologies are likely to be successful in the long-term. For any new technology, there must be a clear understanding of (a) who the target population is, (b) what success looks like, and (c) who is going to pay for the technology.
The new technologies listed here have great potential to be game-changing. However, as always, these innovative technologies must be accessible and affordable across different health systems and populations.