contact lenses

Have you seen this yet? It is super cool! Microsoft Research and University of Washington is working on something called the “Functional Contact Lens”. They have discovered that a person’s blood sugar level can be read in a person’s tears. So, the contact lens will sit in the eye (just like a regular lens) while it is there it can read the blood sugar level and send the info to a different device. Now, that is cool enough – technology like this could avoid a lot of finger stabbing and belly stabbing. But, that is not the end of this technology.

They are hoping that the contact lens could show the information to the wearer directly. So, the info will be seen on the side of their vision. Maybe with a blood sugar number, or perhaps with a warning message. The video that they have on the website makes the Natural User Interface look like the info the Terminator gets in the terminator movies.

This project is a long way away from being released, but looks very very cool. I know I would be interested in trying it out when it comes out…


24 hours w/ diabetes

Recently I read a post at the “Angry type 2 diabetic” about how the Mary Greeley Medical Center, in Ames, Iowa, had medical professionals live like a diabetic for 24 hours. It reminded me of my nurse practitioner from years ago.

She was taking a course at Joslin about diabetes treatment. Each medical professional had to act like a diabetic with a particular treatment plan. I forget what type of treatment plan she chose. The thing was, she only kept to the treatment plan for a few hours. She said that she “got the idea” after that. I was thinking “Oh no you didn’t.”

We have to continue to stab our fingers and test our blood. We have to count carbs and give ourselves insulin. We have to do that EVERYDAY. There is no vacations, there is no break, there is no “getting the idea”. This darn disease doesn’t stop.

And she wouldn’t even try to do it for more than a few hours. Sigh.



Medtronic has announced a new product – mySentry.

MySentry is a remote glucose monitor — so a parent can look at a monitor in a different room and see the Continuous Glucose Monitor’s latest reading of their child’s blood sugar.

mySentry works with a patients MiniMed Paradigm® REAL-Time Revel™ System. mySentry’s monitor can be in the room of caregiver and the patient can be in a different location in the house. The caregiver can glance at the monitor to see if anything is wrong – if there are any alarms, low or high blood sugar, and more. No longer do parents have to wake their child up several times at night to check their blood sugar. They don’t even have to stay in the same room so they can hear the continuous glucose monitor’s alarms.  Pretty cool.


One of the blogs that I read is “Six until me”. Recently she posted about a company named “Myabetic”.

Myabetic has great cases to hold testing supplies. The one that caught my eye is one called “Love Bug”. The picture on this post is the love bug case, all closed. It was designed for little girls (or little girls at heart). When you open the case all up, it looks like a butterfly.

This is much prettier than the usual meter container. It is usually just black, and has just enough to hold the various medical items in it. It wasn’t made to be pretty though, just functional.

According to Kyrra Richards, the founder of Myabetic, “A month before my 25th birthday, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Sentenced to way too much time in dreary waiting rooms, surrounded by monotonous medical equipment, I was compelled to find a way to make living with diabetes a brighter experience.”

There are lots of other kits, some more for adults — they look like a fashionable purse, and one more for a kid — there is one that has a sports theme. All with a thought towards the look and its function, instead of just the functionality.

I hope that more companies use her products as an example.

Legos for girls

I have been playing with Legos since I was very little. I spent ages building castles and houses and sometimes monsters and dragons. The only thing stopping my play was my imagination and not enough legos for what I wanted to build. When my daughter got old enough, we bought her a set and she seems to enjoy them as much as me. But, lately, legos seem to be more of a boy toy. The legos haven’t changed, but the marketing has. They have been marketing batman legos,  Star Wars Legos, Alien legos, but not the regular sets. So, girls are just seeing all the commercials for boys and start thinking that the toys are for boys, not for girls.

Now, it isn’t like Legos forgot about girls. They had a brand called “Belville” . It tended to have sets with horse stables and puppies. There was a girl (much bigger than the mini-figures) that could ride on the horses. And, it was pink….very, very pink. Honestly, I don’t mind pink, but that was SO pink. Bellville didn’t sell very well.

So, for 2012 Lego has announced a new way to reach girls — Lego friends. As you can see from the cover of Bloomberg Business Week, they are not the typical mini-figure. The body is more curvy and the hair is more stylish. According to BBW, there will be five main characters — each one with a name and back story.

Brickblogger has more info about the sets and figures (as well as some beautiful pictures of them). The new figures look cuter. I have to say that they look similar to Polly Pockets. The sets are of cute areas like cafes, bakeries, and vets offices. Although there is some pink on the boxes, I don’t feel over powered by the pink. In fact, there is more purple than pink.

I know that some people are a little bit put off by the sets. Me, I think they are kind of cute. And, if they can get more girls to realize how much fun Legos are, then they can be great. But, we’ll see how well they sell.

For more info on the new lego sets and current lego for girl offereings:

Artificial Pancreas

Did you know that the FDA posted guidelines to companies about safety and effective goals for an artificial pancreas system? It was posted on Dec 1, 2011. If you have no idea what an artificial pancreas is for, it would help type 1 diabetics regulate their blood sugar. There are already insulin pumps, and there are also continuous glucose monitors. An artificial pancreas would combine them both, and the machine would make decisions on when to give insulin and when to suspend insulin, instead of the person needing to have to.

This guideline shows that the FDA must think that this device isn’t too far away — and this would allow expedited approval. Hurrah!

The JDRF was encouraged by the draft, and hopes it is as good as it looks.

FDAs guidelines are here: FDA Guidelines draft


Self Diagnosis

Bayer's A1CNow™ SELFCHECK System

Have you seen this article Washington Post complaining about the drugstore HbA1C kits being used for a diabetes diagnosis? They say that it isn’t official, and could not be accurate.

The thing is, I wasn’t diagnosed by an HbA1C test. I was diagnosed by a simple over the counter finger stick test. It was done at the doctor’s office, but it was a fingerstick test that had an answer in 30 seconds. Most of the people that I know that were diagnosed with diabetes were tested by glucometers.

Now I think the main problem is that people are getting these tests without a doctor. An HbA1C test done with a pre-existing diabetes can be helpful. It can help a patient make some good decisions. But, a HbA1C test without a doctor and no pre-existing diabetes diagnosis can be bad. Most people have misconceptions about diabetes. If someone tries to self diagnose, and self treat, they might end up making their illness even worse.

If you were diagnosed, what test did your doctor use?

Nick Jonas Contest

Nick Jonas has teamed up with Bayer Health Care to create the “Give Back. Simply Win.” contest. The winner gets to meet Nick and have $5,000 donated to the eligible charity of their choice!

They are splitting up the entries into three groups: 6-12, 13-17 and 18+.

There are a few of eligibility rules. First, the person entering the contest must be diabetic. Second, they must give back to the community in some way. They must not be enrolled Federally Subsidized Healthcare Program such as Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP or TriCare. Last, but not least, they must be a resident of the US, but not the states of MA, MI, RI.

The entry period for the Contest begins on May 4, 2010 at 9:00:00 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time (“EDT”) and ends on August 5, 2010 at 11:59:59 P.M. EDT. (So get to it ! 🙂 )

Still interested? The contest info is here.

No, I’m not entering…I think I am a bit old for this contest 🙂

Glucose fuel cell

RatSomeone forwarded me this news story: Power from Glucose. The article is about how some scientists have created a device that can turn glucose into energy (while in the body of a rat).

I was curious what would happen in a diabetic… Would the excess blood sugar mean more energy, or would it gunk everything up? Could it be used to easily tell someone’s blood sugar level? If higher glucose level means more energy, that should be easy to display, don’t you think? (My husband was joking about little lights on my arm that we could glance at. If the light goes out, eat more.  If the other light turns on, add more insulin.)

Scientists were trying to come up with something that could fuel medical devices, but perhaps it can be used for glucose levels too.