1.What is it?
Sugar IQ is an app which forecasts blood sugar levels using AI to alert the user prior to a hypoglycaemic or hyperglycaemic episode for patients taking multiple insulin doses per day using the Guardian Connect glucose monitoring system.
This is an FDA approved app developed by IBM Watson and Medtronic and currently only available in the US on Apple devices from IOS 11 upwards.
2. Why is it important?
A short pilot study with 256 type I diabetic patients using the device showed results including:
- Percentage of time in target range, 70 – 180 mg/dL, was 33 minutes longer per day
- The app was used 2.1 times per day on average
- Over 50% users had fewer hypoglycaemic and hyperglycaemic events after using the app for a week
- Significant reduction in time patients spent in hyperglycaemic episode (P<0.001)
- 86% users rated the app ‘helpful’ vs ‘not helpful’
Please note: the study was conducted by a self employed Medtronic employee rather than an independent body which may affect the credibility of data collection and analysis of results.
3. How does it work?
- Patient downloads the app
- Input data on dietary information, motivational insights, blood sugar levels and other lifestyle factors such as height and weight
- The AI computes the data to give the patient live feedback on patterns of blood sugar levels to help them better plan their schedules
- Over time iteration of larger amounts of data lead to more accurate forecast on blood sugar levels
- This allows the patient to better understand when and how their blood sugar is being affected and work with their healthcare provider to maintain levels more adequately
The free app is available for download from the Apple Store but has a 3.5 stars from 32 ratings – link to app here
There seems to be room for much improvement with this app but as the first one in the field to become commercial it will be interesting to see how diabetic patients tend to the software and how the software can be integrated for use by diabetics on an international scale.