If you want to know your blood sugar level, all you have to do is ask. Pose the question to Alexa, Siri, or Google Home, and new technology will allow these digital assistants to give you an answer on the spot.
Health-related voice recognition technology, including that designed specifically for people with diabetes, has come a long way since these devices started appearing in homes a few short years ago. Now that so many folks have become used to relying on Alexa and similar products for everything from turning off lights to buying groceries to finding a recipe for fettuccine alfredo, it makes sense that developers would turn their attention to harnessing their power to help people manage their health.
Sulli the Diabetes Guru
A prime example of how these home devices can help with diabetes management is “Sulli the Diabetes Guru,” introduced by Roche Diabetes Care in August 2020. An app that works with both Alexa and Google Assistant, Sulli can answer general questions about diabetes and deliver basic guidance on food, exercise, medication, glucose monitoring, and other healthy diabetes lifestyle habits. Sulli can answer queries like:
- What is high blood sugar?
- What should I be eating?
- Is it OK to exercise before taking a blood sugar test?
The free app can also provide scheduled medication reminders, provide lifestyle tips, and even help users locate a nearby store to buy a fingerstick glucose monitor.
While Sulli doesn’t yet offer any personalized guidance and information, it is anticipated that such features will come with future versions of the app.
The Alexa Diabetes Challenge
Sulli is just one way developers are trying to leverage voice-activated devices to improve the lives of people with diabetes. Pharmaceutical company Merck teamed up with Amazon Web Services and New York-based innovation consultancy Luminary Labs in 2017 for the “Alexa Diabetes Challenge.” The program called for entrepreneurs, techies, and industry players to create open diabetes management solutions for Alexxa and similar voice-tech tools.
“Users will soon go far beyond turning on lights or calling an Uber, and will venture deeper into healthcare, helping people better manage treatments and communicate with caregivers,” Luminary said at the time. “From reminding people of their nutrition plans to scheduling reminders for insulin dosages, the Merck-sponsored Alexa Challenge will call on developers to push the boundaries of voice technology for people with diabetes.”
The grand prize winner for the challenge was called Sugarpod by Wellpepper, described as “[a] multimodal solution that provides specialized voice, mobile, video, and web interactions to support patient adherence to comprehensive care plans. It offers education, tips, and tracking tools, including a smart foot scanner, which uses a classifier to identify potential abnormalities.”
Calling on Alexa for assistance is just one way technology is transforming how those with diabetes manage their condition. Another, more immediately impactful development that has changed thousands of individuals’ lives is continuous glucose monitoring (CGM).
CGM is a tested, customizable transceiver device that helps those with diabetes stay in control of their condition and their life, providing constant real-time blood sugar information without the need for finger-pricking throughout the day.
Whether you’ve been living with diabetes for years or if you’ve recently received a diagnosis, CGM may be an excellent glucose monitoring solution. Contact us today to see if you qualify for CGM and access our guide to continuous glucose monitoring.