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Ditto data system bridges glucose monitors, smartphones

Biomedtrics' ditto Glucose Data System transmits blood glucose data from several glucometers to Android mobile devices.

The ditto Glucose Data System consists of a Bluetooth device, an electronic logbook app, and a secure Web site.

Let's face it: traditional glucose monitors require their share of work. Even diabetics who are diligent about monitoring their glucose levels have to then go to the trouble of either plugging the meters into a computer to upload the readings or tracking them manually.

So Pleasanton, Calif.-based Biomedtrics has come up with what it calls the ditto Glucose Data System to bridge the gap between glucose monitors and smartphones and thus make glucose tracking a little easier. The system comprises a Bluetooth device, an electronic logbook app, and a secure Web site -- called mydittolife -- on which to store and track data. Users can also share the information with their physician, family, caregivers, etc.

The device is available on Amazon for $129, while the logbook app is available at the Google Play store for free. Compatible FDA-approved glucose monitors include Bayer CONTOUR, FreeStyle, GLUCOCARD, and OneTouch Profile. (The full list is here.)

With 26 million people suffering from diabetes in the U.S. alone (that's almost 1 in 10 Americans), and hundreds of millions globally, according to the American Diabetes Association, glucose monitoring has become one of the largest patient-generated data sets in the world.

Biomedtrics CEO Robert Englert saw an opportunity to put that data to better use, according to a company press release, allowing it to be more easily transmitted, stored, and shared -- all for the obvious benefit of people trying to manage the disease.

Biomedtrics, it should be noted, isn't the only company with such a feat in mind. Glooko, approved by the FDA earlier this year, features a logbook app and cable that connects several off-the-shelf monitors to iPhones, while a still small, elite new generation of glucose monitors is actually connecting directly to smartphones.

Competition will likely drive the cost down and the sophistication up in the years to come -- and if that makes them easier to buy and more likely to be used, then these next-gen glucose monitors will also be saving more lives.