Diabetes Hacking for Drivers

By Dr. Nick van Terheyden aka Dr. Nick
Twitter: @drnic1
Host of Dr. Nick: The Incrementalist#TheIncrementalist

On this episode I talked to Phil Curtis (@philtalks), Director at First–Thirty (@1stThirty) who is merging his knowledge and experience in the space industry together with personal experiences in healthcare to help ideas become solutions and businesses.

Phil developed Type 1 Diabetes early in life following a bout of Measles that left his insulin production system in the Islets of Langerhans no longer working. His early experiences managing the disease were challenging with data that was delayed and lacking in detail. This was compounded by some of the dire predictions he was exposed to of the impact on his health and wellness of the glucose flowing around his body.

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Thanks to his focus and personal hacking of the problem over the years Phil finds himself in great health working as a sports coach and in good shape without any of the anticipated sequelae. He shares his personal experience of being prevented at the last minute from competing in the world championship rally racing because the organizers decided that his Diabetes was a safety issue. He was interviewed in Grandstand (the weekend presentation of sports in the UK on TV and if like me you were racking your brain to remember the catchy theme tune – here it is) and Top Gear about being sidelined at the last minute. The ability to drive in the UK with Diabetes is limited and requires additional medical oversight (this is also true for pilots)

His incremental insights came from the increased availability of data and the importance of immediacy to allow for real-time responses that prevented hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia from ever happening. He is grateful for the progress in technology that has improved the needles used to inject the insulin and the more recent innovation of the Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) which provides near real-time data on his blood glucose level.

Listen in to hear Phil’s exploration of this data, informed by his earlier competitive driving experiences and the significance of having that data provided to you while you are driving. For those of us with working insulin systems knowing the level while driving seems like an unimportant value but for the many diabetics (Over 1.5 Million in the US and almost half a million in the UK) it is highly significant – you can read all about Phil’s Diabetes Driving Hack here that cobbles together a host of wearable technology and add on devices to create a drivers alert system. He hopes to help individuals and companies who develop concepts like these to successfully navigate the process of going from ideas to companies and products to successful economic companies.

About the Show
For years Dr. Nick van Terheyden aka Dr. Nick, has served as a voice on the impact of new technologies on healthcare, earning a reputation as a leading authority on where the future of medicine is going. Combining powers of observation and real world experience, Dr. Nick has seen many predictions come true and makes the case that innovations in healthcare can be accomplished incrementally, not just by moonshot events. Tune in to hear Dr. Nick: The Incrementalist and his guests discuss what the future of healthcare looks like, how we will get there, and what it will take to improve healthcare for all.

This article was originally published on the Dr. Nick – The Incrementalist blog and is republished here with permission.