Mobile technology for self-monitoring of blood glucose among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Steven S. Coughlin


Worldwide, the number of people with diabetes is increasing and about 90% of patients have type 2 diabetes mellitus; about one fifth of people with type 2 diabetes are on insulin treatment (1). The global burden of type 2 diabetes has prompted increasing efforts to develop mobile technologies for self-monitoring of blood glucose among patients with diabetes. A wide variety of home glucometers are available that are portable, inexpensive, reliable and sensitive, and which use smaller amounts of blood than in the past. After washing their hands and using alcohol wipes, patients use a lancet to obtain a tiny amount of blood from a fingertip and place it on or beside a test strip placed in a glucometer. Recent developments include the introduction of mobile devices for self-monitoring of blood glucose that are coupled with a smartphone app that communicates test results to providers (2,3), blood-free mobile devices for measuring blood glucose that use a sensor placed on the forearm (1), and devices for the continuous monitoring of blood glucose in patients with insulin-dependent diabetes (4).