GlucoPhone – Glucometer and Cell Phone in One!

Kim Benjet Health Guide
  • I couldn’t believe it until I held it in hands last Friday.  Josh and I are trying out a great new diabetes product – the Healthpia Glucopak Self Monitoring System.   In the spirit of full disclosure, we are trying it out for free because my neighbor is working on the venture cap for Healthpia.

    The Glucopak is a glucometer attached directly to a standard cell phone.   Currently it is being manufactured by Healthpia, the company that holds the patent on a technology to integrate a glucometer with a cellular phone.   It is not commercially available yet but I hope they can bring the product to market soon.   Here are some pictures directly from the Healthpia website:

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    How it works

    HealthPia has developed a glucose meter (GlucoPack™) that can be fitted onto regular cell phones.



    The customer uses the GlucoPack™ in the same manner as any standard glucose meter.



    Software has been developed that can be downloaded into your cell phone that can interface with the GlucoPack™ to test and read your glucose level.



    Why do I like the GlucoPhone?


    First the obvious, it is one less piece of equipment to carry around.  I think it will be great for teenagers who already carry their cell phones everywhere and are text message savvy.

    Secondly, when Josh takes his blood sugar it text messages the result to my cell phone - wherever I am.   I know the test was done and I can immediately give feedback via text message or by calling his glucophone.  For a child with diabetes the ability to stay in touch with a parent or diabetes caregiver can mean the freedom to go on play dates, sleepovers, field trips, sporting events, etc.

    Finally, I am impressed that the BSG data will go directly to a pass worded, secure web  database so that we can automatically track and monitor blood sugar  results.   Like most newly diagnosed people, when Josh was first diagnosed we wrote down the results of all blood glucose tests.  Then we moved to occasionally downloading all his blood sugar values from his meter/pump but I got lazy and frustrated with the blue tooth connection of our glucometer.  Now I battle with the download every three months before the endocrinologist appointment or a little more frequently if things are “out of whack”.  It was always a hassle to download and when my computer crashed last month I lost all the historical data!

    Of course seeing the BSG data all together and in graphical form was always useful and we could make more astute adjustments to basal rates.  On the Healthpia website the information will be stored on a secure website that we can access from anywhere—even the doctor’s office.  No special software is needed to read the data.  I haven’t fully tested out the web data base so I can’t make any claims on how well it works and how many ways the data can be viewed, but I’ll let you know when I try it out.

    When I spoke with Kathi O’Neill, Healthpia President and a Type 1 diabetic,  she said the web based component is an essential feature because it takes one of the steps out of good blood glucose monitoring by making collection of the data easy and automatic.  She also referred me to an IndianaUniversity usability study on the Glucopak – see the April edition of Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics.

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     I would bet many people with diabetes would be willing to carry and use a Glucopak.  Now the only question is when will it be available to the general public?

Published On: May 03, 2007