Paving the Way to Better Insulin Infusion Technology was written by Mike Hoskins for, 7 January 2020. 

With all the recent advances in diabetes tech, a simple reality remains: the infusion sets that critically deliver insulin under the skin are far from fail safe, and remain “the weakest link” in new systems for controlling blood sugar.  You might call infusion sets the Achilles Heel of insulin pumps — as these little contraptions made up of a small needle, plastic cannula and adhesive often get clogged or spring a leak, disrupting insulin delivery into the body.

    • Infusion sets remain “the weakest link” in insulin pump treatment, with as many as 60% of pump users reporting infusion set failures for a variety of reasons.
    • Past attempts at infusion set innovation have fizzled, including the short-lived BD FlowSmart sold by Medtronic.
    • Capillary Biomedical is working on a novel infusion set aiming to offer better reliability, longer wear and reduced patient burden.
    • Startup DiaTech Diabetic Technologies is developing a new built-in sensor to monitor, detect and alert to leakages and occlusions when infusion sets are starting to fail.

Read more:  Paving the Way to Better Insulin Infusion Technology

Ketone Checks Made Easy: New Meter Measures Ketones in Breath was reported by Eliza Skoler and Ursula Biba for, 6 January 2020. 

BioSense just launched a new ketone meter that measures ketone levels in a single breath. To use the ketone breath meter, all you have to do is press start and blow into the device. The results are stored and displayed directly on the device, or they can be sent to a mobile app via Bluetooth.

The new device will cost $299 with an annual $30 cost to recalibrate the sensor. While $299 is expensive, the fact that the meter can be used even multiple times a day will be reassuring to many, particularly those wanting to ensure safety with new treatment regimens (for example, SGLT-2 inhibitor drugs for type 1 diabetes).

Read more:  Ketone Checks Made Easy: New Meter Measures Ketones in Breath

This is simply brilliant and elegant! The stupidly simple idea that would fix USB’s biggest design flaw was presented by Lilly Smith for, 9 January 2020. 

We’ve all been there. You need to charge your phone, and go to plug a USB cable into its charging block. But in what ends up being a comedy of errors, you fumble around trying to get the USB plug to fit into the port. You have a 50/50 chance of getting it right. With those odds, you might as well close your eyes and try it.

That’s because the current design doesn’t offer any visual indication of how the port and the plug correspond together. Ji Lee, a communication designer at Facebook, has an idea for solving this design flaw, and it’s ridiculously simple. Put a visual cue, like an icon, or in this case, a red dot sticker, on the coordinating faces of the USB port and the plug. Watch:

Read more:  The stupidly simple idea that would fix USB’s biggest design flaw

It’s winter which means dry skin and other skin problems. 

New Skin Care Line Brings Relief for Diabetic Skin Conditions was reviewed by Sara Seitz for, 9 January 2020. VitalFitSR is a complete skincare system meant to help diabetics avoid and care for chronic skin problems.

As a person living with diabetes, you are probably well aware of the effect high blood sugars have on your blood vessels. Whenever your blood sugar creeps up too high or stays high longer than normal, it can cause your veins to contract and harden. Over time this atherosclerosis can lead to heart, kidney, and nerve problems. Sustained high blood sugar also greatly effects your skin. When your vessels narrow, they can’t transport blood as efficiently. This is especially true of the tiny capillary fields that feed your skin. Many people with diabetes suffer from annoying but less severe skin issues like dry skin, dermopathy, and sclerosis.

The Review: None of the products give off a lot of odor and all are mild and easy on the skin. After only a few days of using the products, I saw a noticeable difference in how my feet looked. They were no longer ashen and flaky as they typically are during the dry Colorado winter. They looked refreshed and hydrated.  They felt better too. The itching a redness between my toes caused by dry skin went away completely after about a week. Even the thick callouses on my heels looked less chalky and cracked, something that no regular lotion has ever been able to accomplish.

Read more: New Skin Care Line Brings Relief for Diabetic Skin Conditions

Food Photo Apps for Diabetes: How Helpful Are They? was reported by Ginger Vieira for, 18 December 2019. 

Keeping track of everything you eat may be remarkably useful when it comes to improving your habits and health, but it’s also tedious and time-consuming.  Most food tracking apps require you to search every item or ingredient in the meal or snack you eat in order to provide data about calories, fat, protein, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. 

  • UnderMyFork:  “It is technologically impossible to estimate carbs or calories by photo,” explains Mike Ushakov, co-founder of UnderMyFork, the first company to develop a blood sugar-specific food photo app. 

“Even if you use your eyes, a much more complicated device than your iPhone camera, you cannot differentiate porridge with sugar from porridge without sugar just looking at it.”  “Our app uses quite a different approach,” explains Ushakov, a young entrepreneur heading up the Eastern European-based startup UnderMyFork.

Their iPhone app combines meal photos with CGM (continuous glucose monitor) data so users can see how their food affects blood glucose levels and time in range. It currently interfaces with the Dexcom CGM via Apple Health and several blood glucose meter brands. The company is working towards integrating data from a variety of CGMs.

  • Nutrino’s FoodPrint: This app asks users to log photos of meals for the sole purpose of helping identify what you ate so it can generate nutrition data. It does not generate data based on photos alone and is much more time-intensive, but rather requires that you log every specific ingredient or item in order to generate any real nutritional information. It does allow you to track insulin, medications, and blood sugar readings.
  • Calorie Mama: This AI-driven app bills itself as “a smart camera app that uses deep learning to track nutrition from food images.” It also doesn’t generate nutrition data from the photo alone. Instead, it relies on the photo to easily identify what you ate, and then you are still required to search and select specific foods and ingredients to generate any real nutritional data.
  • Foodvisor: This app touts that from a photo, it can estimate the serving size and provide a detailed nutrition report in just seconds. It creates a food diary and prompts you to log physical activity as well so it can calculate your calorie intake vs. calories burned.
  • YouFood: This food journaling photo app is aimed at weight loss. It prompts users to snap a photo of meals, while also logging food, drinks, water, and exercise. It then provides daily “reflections” to help you understand your habits. And it provides a “social accountability” feature that it claims is the No.1 most effective weight-loss method.
  • Snaq: This Switzerland-based startup says its app offers “reliable food recognition, image-based portion calculation and a well-structured nutrition database” built on their proprietary patent-pending nutrition analysis technology. Its CEO Aurelian Briner has a partner living with type 1 diabetes, and the company is working with the Diabetes Center Berne to help optimize the app for diabetes use, with various goal-setting functions.

I think the apps provide a reasonable ‘rough’ estimate for those who don’t understand how to estimate portions or carb count properly,” says Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, and director of Integrated Diabetes Services. “But those who depend on a reasonably accurate carb count in order to calculate the proper insulin dose, there is no substitute for nutrition education with a qualified professional.”

Read more:  Food Photo Apps for Diabetes: How Helpful Are They?

I am a mosquito magnet!  I’ve always been the one to attract them … been bitten to smithereens!  I always thought that the flying annoyances were attracted to my “sweetness.”  But what to do about it?  Well, let’s check this out …

Why are scientists painting stripes on cows? was written by Tim Newman for, 6 January 2020. 

Why do zebras have stripes? Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories inform us that the stripes developed because the zebra stood in the “slippery-slidy shadows” of trees. Scientists, however, have other ideas.

A recent paper describes how a group of scientists painted zebra stripes on cows. The authors conclude that this unusual method might help protect livestock from biting flies and, consequently, help reduce the use of pesticides.some scientists believe that the black and white stripes of a zebra protect it from biting insects.  With growing support, it now seems reasonable that a zebra’s stripes function as an insect repellant.

If a zebra’s stripes can help it minimize fly attacks, could similar stripes also help cattle? A group of researchers recently set out to explore this question, and they published their results in the journal PLOS ONE.  The results of our study showed that the numbers of biting flies on black-and-white painted cows were significantly fewer than those on the all-black and black-striped cows.”

Think I’ll be wearing stripes, come summertime?!

Read more:  Why are scientists painting stripes on cows?

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