Philips releases new app to help manage type 1 diabetes

15 Sep 2015 9:53 AM | Denny Brennan (Administrator)
Jessica Bartlett Reporter Boston Business Journal, Sep 15, 2015

Royal Philips is launching a new diabetes app, one that integrates medical records with large-scale data to help patients manage their disease on a new level.

The prototype — developed in combination with the Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands, with California-based cloud computing company Salesforce, and with large help from Philips employees at the company’s North American headquarters in Andover — is largely geared towards type 1 diabetes, or patients that are born with the disease and have a lifelong dependence on injected insulin.

A new app from Philips hopes to help those with Type I diabetes manage the disease.

“It’s the moment when the shift to insulin dependence and insulin injection (where patients need to) manage it on a continuous basis that the burden starts going up and there you enter a new category of support and psychological need that our app is trying to answer,” said Thibaut Sevestre, senior director of Eco-System Management at Philips.

The app, which is currently going through software validation and soon field testing with a limited number of patients, consists of an online community, and consolidated data, pulled from wireless glucose meters, activity monitors and even patient self-reported information.

Patients are provided continuous updates about diabetes metrics, such as blood glucose levels, and will offer coaching guidance.

In the online community, patients and health care professionals can send private messages or even share posts.

The app relies on Philips’s new virtual health record, which can pull data from a variety of electronic medical records — such as Epic and Cerner — and digital devices, and the Salesforce cloud, which will integrate the data and present it to the user in a digestible and actionable format.

“We’re looking at exploring the space between clinical care and data driven health care … and on the other end the more informal, collaborative nature of health care you can have when you start using communities and social media structures,” Sevestre said.

Sevestre said despite the many apps focused on diabetes, Philips’ focus on type 1 diabetes is unique in a market that is largely focused on type 2, which is more about lifestyle, nutrition and exercise than on clinical aspects like insulin injections, which fewer of patients with type 2 diabetes need.

“There are lot of apps out there to manage their intake and carb intake – their nutrition and food, but we didn’t find something that was covering where we think we’re strong with our partners, making the link between clinical and everyday life and helping people in their every day life,” Sevestre said.

Helping patients make the decisions five to 20 times a day necessary to their well-being is critical, Sevestre said, and where the app hopes to provide aid.

Over time, the app may be broadened to include more aspects relevant to type 2 diabetes, Sevestre said.

The platform is also open for other partners or startups to develop spinoffs, Sevestre said.

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