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Tech Is Finally Taking on Diabetes, a $300 Billion Market

Image courtesy One Drop

Sugar Rush

Diabetes and prediabetes cost the United States $322 billion per year. One out of every five health care dollars is spent caring for people with diabetes, according to data from the American Diabetes Association.

So why did it take tech so long to enter the market?

“We have a consumer tech lifestyle that we live in so many other ways, and we know it’s available, but the medical industry just isn’t there,” Jeff Dachis, founder of One Drop and a Type 1 diabetic, told us.

“Imagine having a life-threatening illness and being told to choose some antique device, and then have it be one of the most expensive things you’ve ever bought.”

Dachis’ company introduced One Drop Mobile, a glucose, med, and activity tracking app in 2016. And last month, they launched One Drop Chrome, a blood glucose monitoring system that forgoes the clunky 80’s aesthetic of typical devices in favor of an Apple-inspired gloss.

The company also offers a subscription service for unlimited test strips at $40 per month – a savings of nearly $80 per month to the average diabetic.

“After I was diagnosed…” Dachis said, “I thought we could make something that empowered people, reduced the expense, and increased the convenience of managing diabetes…. And thus change the outcomes associated with it.”

Check out some more tech innovations in the world of diabetes care.

FreeStyle Libre

libre flash

Not yet available in the United States, the FreeStyle Libre is a patch worn on the upper arm that connects a tiny glucose sensor inserted under the skin. With a 14-day lifespan, the patch must be scanned by a sensor to obtain real-time information.

Dexcom

dexcom

Founded in 1999, Dexcom has also created a continuous blood glucose monitoring sensor via a small device implanted beneath the skin. The tech provides real-time readings every five minutes and transmits the data via Bluetooth. When glucose is too high or low, the system will send an immediate alert to a user’s smartphone.

Afrezza

afrezza

Promising an end to insulin injections would seem like a great offer, but Afrezza, a brand of inhaled insulin, has seen surprisingly little adoption from diabetics. The product’s developer, biopharmaceutical company MannKind, has accused big pharma powerhouse Sanofi of bungling the product’s rollout.

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