IBM, Medtronic Design Cognitive Diabetes Management App

Jan. 8, 2016
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016 in Las Vegas this week, IBM and medical device vendor Medtronic announced they are working on a research prototype smartphone app that will predict hypoglycemic events in diabetes patients up to three hours in advance.

Medtronic announced they are working on a research prototype smartphone app that will predict hypoglycemic events in diabetes patients up to three hours in advance.

According to a press release from Medtronic, the app is being designed to provide relevant, real-time insights and coaching to help people improve their ability to understand the impact of daily activities on their diabetes and make adjustments as needed, as well as personalized diabetes management by applying Watson’s cognitive computing power to data from Medtronic’s wearable medical devices, including insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring devices.

In a pilot study, Medtronic and IBM applied cognitive analytics to 600 anonymous patient cases using data from Medtronic insulin pumps and glucose monitors and the technology was able to predict hypoglycemia – low blood sugar – up to three hours in advance of onset, early enough to enable a diabetes patient to take action to prevent a potentially dangerous health event, according to the Medtronic release.

Also announced at CES 2016, Pathway Genomics, a medical diagnostics company, and IBM have worked together on a genomic wellness app. The OME app, according to a joint release, merges cognitive computing with precision medicine and genetics and will provide consumers with personalized wellness information.

The alpha version of the app incorporates information from Pathway’s FIT Test, a wellness-based diet, exercise and metabolism report compiled with information from the user’s unique genetic traits, as well as their health habits, data from GPS and wearable health monitors and the users Apple HealthKit.

Future versions of the Pathway OME app will enable users to opt-in to include electronic health records, insurance information and additional datasets that will enable OME to provide precise and actionable wellness recommendations, the companies said.

To collect relevant genetic data, after approval by a licensed physician, Pathway Genomics will mail the user a saliva DNA collection kit.  Then, Pathway will work with additional clinicians and scientists to conduct the Pathway Fit genetic test. The Pathway Fit test specifically looks at 75 genes that focus on phenotypes like diet, exercise, lipids and sugar metabolism.

Pathway's OME app then delivers personalized wellness insights to the user based on Pathway Genomics' proprietary analytics of the findings from the genetic test and other user data combined with Watson cognitive computing technology, intelligent machine learning, and a corpus of health and wellness information.

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