Mental Health and Diabetes – Can Technology Help?

 

It is widely known that people with severe mental health illnesses have a higher probability of developing diabetes. Also they are about 2 or 3 times more likely to die from diabetes than the general population. Finding ways to reduce the risks associated with diabetes in people with mental health illnesses is crucial. This is an area where technology can help. With the combination of the internet, wireless gadgets and the internet, health tech has become a growth area that is helping to improve people’s quality of life. One of such innovations in the area of diabetes is the Diabetes Patch. I first saw the pacth being used by a work colleague a couple of days before I was due to deliver a short training session on (you guessed it!) diabetes and mental health illness. The colleague told me how she uses the patch to monitor her blood sugar level. I designed to do a google serach to learn more about the patch and found a daily mail article that explains how the patch works.

diabetes tech

The patch includes a sensor which reads data on blood sugar levels from cells just below the skin. The data can then be collected by swiping the sensor with a wireless digital reader using oyster-cardlike technology. You can read the full article here. What if we could use this technology for people with mental health illnesses to support them to track their blood sugar levels in an easier way and more frequently. I think it would certainly be preferable to using needles to draw blood for testing. While this technology might not work for everyone, for those it can work for, it will be a worthwhile investment.

 

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