I was excited to be a featured speaker and panelist at Roche’s Accu-Check Network Meeting last month in Malta.
The German device company was looking to better understand the We Are Not Waiting movement that got its start here in the U.S. They were also intrigued by Quantified Self and its implications for the future of their industry.
Accu-Chek started the conference with an impressive display of products in their development pipeline, including a CGM that they claim will be more accurate than the Dexcom Gen4 (release date undisclosed). Their software is growing better, is Mac compatible and cloud-based.
There were no public statements about open data, interoperability or API access for 3rd party developers. Yet from what I could sense, the wheels seem to be moving on that front internally. The company has yet to open their protocols to Tidepool or other diabetes data aggregation platforms. During a panel discussion I made clear that this is a wise decision to make, both from a customer service and business perspective. As a device company that makes all their money selling hardware and supplies, the value of their platform increases with more users. We are approaching a point where patients will have the choice between two types of devices, one open and one closed. On the closed platform, the user will only be able to use the official software from the manufacturer. On the other, the patient will be able to choose from both the official software and an ecosystem of connected apps (including those from Databetes). As a customer and as a patient, which sounds better to you?
I quite enjoyed doing the research for the Quantified Self portion of my presentation, learning more of the specifics of how the group has grown in just a few years. I talked about Larry Smarr of Calit2 and his incredible work analyzing 100 of his own biomarkers for the last decade. He was able to see in his own data problems with his immune system, which led to an early diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease. I recommend this MIT article to learn about his amazing work.