Sold on diabetes tech, Joslin tests mobile app for Type 1 patients

Back in August, Sanofi ($SNY) and the Joslin Diabetes Center announced they would team up with Google ($GOOG) for a patient monitoring collaboration aimed at helping people with diabetes better manage their condition. Now Joslin is flying solo with its own digital test: a mobile app for Type 1 diabetes patients.

Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston--Courtesy of Joslin Diabetes Center

Joslin's "Sugar Sleuth" system helps teach diabetics how to manage their blood sugar levels by tracking glucose readings and looking at after-meal eating behavior. To test the mobile app and accompanying online nutrition education platform, Joslin will run a 3-month trial with 30 patients, using blood glucose as the primary outcome measure, according to a posting on ClinicalTrials.gov.

This isn't Joslin's first foray into diabetes monitoring. As MobiHealthNews points out, the Boston-based center last year created a nonprofit division, called Joslin Institute for Technology Translation (JITT) to work more closely with companies developing technology for people with diabetes. Joslin also has an ongoing partnership with glucometer patient connectivity company Glooko, and the pair are working on a web service that helps patients keep tabs on their glucose levels.

In August, Joslin and Sanofi said they would join forces with Google's newly minted Life Sciences division to find better ways to collect, analyze and process patient information for diabetes monitoring. No one revealed financial details, but Joslin President and CEO John Brooks said at the time of the deal that it was meant to improve existing technology to better outcomes for patients.

"Technology, sensors, analytics, and digital solutions will disrupt how blood sugars are managed, which will deliver improved quality of life, lowering the risk of complications and reducing the costs and barriers associated with diabetes care," Brooks said. "Ultimately, I truly hope we're able to turn the Joslin Diabetes Center into a museum."

Joslin and Sanofi are not the only ones eyeing the diabetes monitoring market. Last year, Swiss drugmaker Novartis ($NVS) said it would work with Google to develop smart contact lenses to help users continually monitor glucose levels using tear fluid. "This is a key step for us to go beyond the confines of traditional disease management, starting with the eye," Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez said at the time.

- here's the ClinicalTrials.gov post
- read the MobiHealthNews story

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