Medtronic, IBM team on diabetes app using Watson technology

IBM Watson

IBM’s Watson technology will be used in a new diabetes app aimed at identifying patterns in lifestyle and health that could drive better treatment and disease management.

Medtronic's Sugar.IQ with Watson cognitive app, which is being piloted, provides real-time continuous glucose monitoring and insulin insight gathered from pumps and glucose sensors, it announced last week.

The software tool uncovers behaviors associated with glucose patterns and provides users with real-time personalized information to spur specific actions and to boost understanding of how habits affect glucose levels.

In June, IBM and the American Diabetes Association formed a partnership with a goal of developing a personalized mHealth app that gets smarter over time and works with Watson Care Manager. The entities also announced the launch of a diabetes-focused app development challenge for tools that tap the association’s deep data and IBM Watson’s cognitive insights.

Research recently published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care found that a mobile platform supporting the National Diabetes Prevention Program to be valuable for helping patients lose weight and slowing the onset of disease.

Still, patients who need such tools are not always using them due to a variety of barriers, a small study published online in March in Telemedicine and e-Health found.

Initially launched by Medtronic as a research concept earlier this year, the Sugar.IQ with Watson app will be deployed in a limited launch to 100 Medtronic mobile users to gain insight on use and design features; a full rollout is expected later this year.