Cell Phones Now Helping Fight Diabetes
By Mike Boyle


U.S. researchers are trying to harness the growing power of cell phone technology to help fight chronic diseases such as diabetes.

One such researcher is Dr. Richard Katz of George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., who has been exploring how cell phones might be able to assist people with diabetes in inner cities control blood sugar levels, while at the same time save money for the Medicaid system. Patients taking part in Dr. Katz` program are given phones with Internet access at subsidized rates as long as they comply with their doctors` instructions, reports the Associated Press (AP).

One patient in that program is 43-year-old Washington, D.C. resident Tyrone Harvey, who accesses a web-based personal health record on his phone to enter daily blood sugar readings. If his levels are outside of a pre-set range, Harvey gets a text message with instructions on how to control his blood sugar.

Do these kinds of technology tools work? Katz tells the AP, "What systems work best with patients has yet to be figured out." He also says he worries not just about affordability of this kind of cell phone technology when his study is over, but whether interest will diminish when the novelty wears off.

To learn more about what Dr. Katz is doing with this technology, take a look at this AP story via Yahoo!.


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Originally posted July 14, 2010.