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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

The standard treatment is to manage glucose levels by testing blood regularly and injecting insulin when sugar levels rise above a healthy range. Patients often do not meet the expected schedule of self-testing and treatment, however, simply because they forget or do not find the time.

The Actiste solution centers around enabling all necessary tasks with a single device. The system, Norström says, needed to offer four key features to be of value to patients, their families and health-care providers: security, reliability, reach and autonomy. This meant ensuring that collected and shared data was secure and private, that the system always worked, and that it had the reach to ensure it continued capturing and sharing information wherever the device was in operation. Additionally, the solution required autonomy so that it could still work even when offline.

Ericsson's Charlotte Skånstad-Shand
For connectivity, the company considered multiple available technologies. Bluetooth could connect the device to a user's smartphone, but not every user would always have a smartphone available, and pairing issues could make such a system less reliable. Wi-Fi connectivity was another option, Norström says, but the system requires a secure connection, and there might not always be a Wi-Fi network available, while a public network might not be properly secured. To provide reliable service, the device needed to be able to connect no matter where an individual was using it.

For cellular service, Norström says, the firm evaluated multiple technology partners before selecting Ericcson, which was providing eSim solutions as part of its IoT Accelerator offering. IoT Accelerator is aimed at connecting and managing billions of devices and millions of applications around the world. "We realized there really was an opportunity with eSim, which was still bleeding-edge" at that time, Norström states. "Our ambition was to offer an IoT product that can be rolled out on a global scale and would have a huge health benefit."

A user first receives the device and downloads the Actiste app on his or her iOS- or Android-based device. That individual could then set up an account and add authorized users who could receive data regarding glucose tests and insulin injections. The individual would then use the device at pre-determined intervals to check glucose levels and administer medication. Each time he or she did so, data would be automatically sent through the cellular network to a cloud-based server.

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