Editor’s Perspective: 14 March 2019


“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”
Arthur C. Clarke

 

Melinda Collins
Melinda Collins

My pancreas is broken. Somewhere along the way I had a virus and, when my immune system has waged war, it’s fought perhaps a little bit too hard, killing not just the virus, but also the cells in my pancreas.

Those cells were pretty handy, producing insulin to counteract any carbs I consumed. Without insulin, blood glucose levels skyrocket and your blood quickly turns acidic.

Just a few short years ago, the only real management plan for type 1 diabetes was to draw blood from your finger with a needle several times a day, then running it through a small testing metre that would determine your blood glucose levels so you could take action to keep them within range.

Keeping them in range traditionally involved a manual injection of insulin, but there was plenty of mathematics that went on behind the scenes to ensure you were taking the right ratio of insulin for your food.

Today my insulin is delivered by insulin pump and, while I still need to tell it how many carbs I’m consuming and what my insulin/carb ratio is, it does the hard graft itself.

A Freestyle Libre blood glucose sensor embedded in my arm reads my blood glucose levels constantly and I scan it with my mobile to get the data. However the latest addition to my gadget collection is a Miaomiao.

Attached to my sensor, it automatically transmits the data and sends it to my smart watch. Now all that it requires to check my blood glucose levels is to look at my watch!

Digital tech gets a bit of a bad rap, but you know what, it does some pretty impressive stuff too.