Ford Motor Co. and Medtronic Inc. have teamed up in the US in an unusual but innovative partnership to come up with an in-car blood sugar level monitor for diabetic drivers. A prototype of the device was unveiled yesterday.
Using the car's Bluetooth connection and the in-car Sync infotainment display, as well as a Medtronic continuous glucose monitor, the system constantly relays information through Sync and is capable of alerting the driver if sugar levels become dangerously low.
Diabetes sufferers make up approximately 26 million of America's population, but according to the American Diabetes Association, only a small number of these use some kind of glucose monitor. Using one while on the go could be more convenient.
If sugar levels become low, sufferers can experience blurry vision and feel light-headed; not a good combination while driving a vehicle. In such circumstances, the system sounds an alert to the driver and a light will illuminate on the dash, much like an engine warning light.
Although the system is only a prototype at the moment, it is showing promise. Up to 78 percent of US consumers are apparently very interested in 'mobile health solutions', and according to MobileStorm, health and self-help medical-type apps are among the third fastest growing in terms of popularity.
Medtronic senior vice president James Dallas spoke about the innovative application at a recent unveiling a Ford headquarters in Michigan:
"Today it's all about possibilities. There's nothing formal yet, but the technology has reached a point where possibilities can become probabilities."