#WhatIfResearchKit

Apple held a press conference today. They announced a watch that can cost over $10,000 if you’re feeling saucy. A gold laptop if you’re feeling Midas-y. And an extension of HealthKit called ResearchKit, which is why we’ve gathered here today.

ResearchKit is “an open source software framework that makes it easy for researchers and developers to create apps that could revolutionize medical studies, potentially transforming medicine forever.” You can learn more about it here. At its launch, ResearchKit includes a rollout of five (5) apps: one for asthma, parkinson’s disease, diabetes, breast cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Again, you can learn more about each of their apps on their ResearchKit landing page.

Of course, this isn’t the first time diabetes shared the spotlight of Apple’s grand stage, remember the iBGStar? But seeing diabetes get an early adoption along with four other prominent diseases is a big deal. The fact that major hospitals and research institutions are part of this collaboration is a big deal. All of this is a very big deal. There’s a genuine opportunity to significantly impact health outcomes if widespread adoption takes off. But, the adoption must be widespread.

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Waiting for #WeAreNotWaiting

In my diabetes circles, conversations around the #WeAreNotWaiting movement, CGM in the Cloud, Nightscout, #DIYPS, Pebble watches, and all that jazz have been increasing at a rapid pace. Even the Quantified Self community is aware of the growing movement to access our diabetes data. I’m all for the prospect of data access and liberation. If device manufacturers have a plan to join the fun, that’s great. But as the hashtag would suggest, we are not waiting for the day to come when a Dexcom sanctioned application is available. Our data is there, we want it now.

I’ve been particularly curious about the prospects of taking my CGM to the cloud as an adult with diabetes. For parents, being able to remotely monitor your child’s diabetes must lift an incredible burden off your shoulders. The worry will always be there, but having more information will always help. For me? It’s going to take a little more convincing to get on board. Right now I work from home. I don’t travel. And Dayle is here at night. As fancy as remote Dexcom monitoring is, I don’t see why it would benefit me.

I have no problem using my Dexcom receiver as the primary means of CGM data gathering. Especially as a guy, all of my pants have pockets, so it’s not a big deal to have it with me all the time. I am in no way discounting the adults with diabetes that have found benefits in setting up their CGM among the digital cumulonumbi, but I need a little extra convincing that I will find some practical use for this effort besides pointing at it and saying “cool, huh?”. I expressed these thoughts as concisely as possible on Twitter this afternoon and engaged in quite the discussion about what I would want out of Nightscout if I were to embark on the installation process.

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Human-less Doctors

I posed this question to the people following the latest Design for Health class I attended at Stanford.

For me, my diagnosis is already set in stone. I have type 1 diabetes. But for other situations, for other people, would you be comfortable receiving an accurate diagnosis without having to actually see a person?

Sure, Dr. Google is a term we throw around, somewhat in jest, but what if Dr. Google became a reality? What if you didn’t have to speak to a person, sit in a waiting room, fight traffic to make your appointment on time?

What do you think about that?

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About Databetes

This week Doug Kanter, founder of Databetes, is my guest this week. We discuss his diabetes diagnosis, this experience as a freelance photographer during the Beijing Olympics, the power of data visualization, and the path to creating Databetes his company’s first application, Meal Memory. Enjoy!

Learn more about Databetes and Meal Memory at databetes.com and follow Doug on Twitter at @databetes.

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About Tidepool

Howard Look, President and CEO of Tidepool, is my guest this week. We cover his time at TiVo as a Vice President of Software and User Experience and his role as Vice President of Software at Pixar before getting to Tidepool. Tidepool is a non-profit developing an open source platform that will serve as the hub for previously isolated and siloed diabetes data. This is a really big deal. Enjoy!

Learn more about Tidepool at tidepool.org and follow Howard directly on Twitter at @HowardLook.

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