“Attention: This Is Your Car Speaking.”

Medtronic And Ford Excited About Collaborating

| Jul 30, 2011

How many times has this happened to you? You're driving somewhere and something feels off. You suspect that your blood sugar level may be dropping, but you plow ahead. Now, imagine your car sounding the alarm: "Attention: This is your car speaking. Your blood sugar is low. Pull over and eat a snack."

Science fiction? A particularly bad episode of Knight Rider? Not at all. Ford has teamed up with medical device powerhouse Medtronic to test a system that connects cars to the continuous blood glucose monitors (CGMs) of diabetic drivers.

The technology to connect automobile with device already exists. Ford cars include a system called "Sync," which allows drivers to control various computing functions by voice alone. Right now, the system features Bluetooth, cloud computing, and app functionality. Ford says that these links could easily include health information.

Medtronic sounds excited to be collaborating with Ford. "Diabetes in particular is a chronic disease where frequent monitoring of blood glucose levels throughout the day is critical," said James Dallas, a Medtronic senior vice president. "As medical and consumer technologies converge, Medtronic is uniquely positioned to provide patients, caregivers, and physicians with actionable insight from the data our devices can gather from the human body."

But Ford isn't just looking at the needs of people with diabetes.  It's also considering how the Sync service could help people with asthma. The system could tell drivers---through a connection to a smart phone application---how much pollen is in the air. The dashboard could even display a warning message: "Attention: Pollen has risen to unacceptable levels. Prepare yourself before stepping outside."

The needs of both groups could be addressed through a connection to WellDoc, a service that offers personally tailored medical advice. You could simply talk to your car and receive health tips drawn from a wealth of authoritative sources.

You can't go off to a car lot and buy a diabetes-friendly Ford quite yet. The company says that research on these applications is still ongoing, although it admits that some of them could be adopted relatively easily. It's also taking a longer-term view, working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to see if new technology can reduce drivers' stress levels.

"Health and wellness provide a tremendous opportunity for Ford to provide peace of mind and a personal benefit to drivers and passengers while they are in our vehicles," said Ford's Gary Strumolo.


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Categories: Blood Glucose, Blood Sugar, CGMs, Continuous Glucose Monitor, Diabetes, Diabetes, Eating, Glucose, Glucose Testing, Medtronic, Monitoring

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Posted by Anonymous on 3 August 2011

I have been Type 1 for 44 years and I work in Diabetes Education. While this invention is nice and quite 'cool' the reality is no Type 1 should ever get into a car and drive without first testing their blood. If they did, this gadget would not be required. A quick and somple test several times a day tells you where you are at. I have zero tolerence for Diabetics that drive and pass out. There is no reason to have that happen with a touch of common sense and a few moments of your time before you drive. I think any Type 1 who does not carry sugar on them at all times should have the driver permits revoked. There is NO excuse.

Posted by kimberlygreenRD on 5 August 2011

I am a type 1 of 17 years, and agree that everyone who is diabetic should test their blood sugar before driving, but the reality is a lot of people don't because of many different reasons. The CGM's are a great tool, and when I wear mine I don't test before driving becase my CGM does it for me...however I have also had times in the past where i tested before driving had a normal level and then after about 30 minutes of driving had a low, I did not give insulin before hand and there was no real cause for the low that I could deduce other than my body decided to use up more insulin than normal. I always have glucose tablets with me, but unexpected lows do happen, and this device would be cool to have as a fail safe/back up. However in order for it to work you have to have a CGM.

Posted by kimberlygreenRD on 5 August 2011

OH I'm also a Registered Dietitian and working toward obtaining my Certified Diabetes Educator creditional

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