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IoT Technology Helps Diabetic Patients Share Data

Brighter AB's Actiste system, being piloted in the United Arab Emirates, tests glucose levels and administers insulin with a single device, then saves the related data and forwards it to authorized parties, such as doctors and family members.
By Claire Swedberg
Nov 04, 2019

Tracking glucose levels and administering insulin can help people with diabetes live an otherwise healthy life. But following doctors' recommended schedules to keep blood sugar levels healthy can prove challenging. People with chronic conditions such as diabetes must often adjust their lifestyle around health-care testing and medication.

Swedish technology startup Brighter AB has developed a new Internet of Things (IoT)-based solution that is intended to automate the process of collecting glucose readings and insulin injections, as well as capture and collect data about these processes for patients, no matter where they may be located. The company's Actiste solution employs a pocket-sized device that tests blood sugar levels and administers injections. It also has built-in cellular connection functionality to transmit data to a server, where the information can then be shared with authorized doctors and family members.

Brighter's Actiste device
The system employs hardware developed by Brighter throughout the past four years, in addition to Ericsson's embedded subscriber identity module (eSIM)-based cellular network as part of the mobile operator IoT service powered by Ericsson's IoT Accelerator. The solution is designed to ensure that measurements on the device can be reliably and securely transmitted to a server, no matter where an individual may be located, says Charlotte Skånstad-Shand, Ericsson's head of sales and IoT connectivity management for the Asia-Pacific region.

The Actiste system is being prepared for its first pilot, to be carried out in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and is expected to be made commercially available in Sweden and other parts of Europe during the coming months. In the long term, the solution is anticipated to become available globally, according to Henrik Norström, Brighter's CEO, and meets the requirements of European regulatory bodies, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements to follow.

The product was first conceived by Brighter's founder, Truls Sjöstedt, in 2007, when his diabetic wife was pregnant and required a strict regimen of blood sugar tests and medication to ensure her own health and that of the baby. Sjöstedt found it challenging to meet the required schedules and keep track of each test and insulin injection. He thus launched Brighter to offer a solution, Norström explains: a single device that could test glucose levels and administer insulin, and with the connectivity required to capture and store information about each test and drug, then share that information with those who need it.

The demand for such a solution is a global one, the company reports. There are about 428 million diabetics worldwide, and the numbers are rising in most countries. In fact, it is the fastest-growing chronic condition in the world. According to the International Diabetes Federation, one in ten people live with diabetes, though half of them may not realize it. Those with the condition are no longer able to make insulin naturally, resulting in a rise in glucose levels that, over time, can damage the body's organs and tissues.

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