Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Alexis Christoforous about One Drop and a new approach to diabetes management: data-driven self-care. For me, it all began about 2 years ago, when I was diagnosed with diabetes (type 1). I wanted to tackle diabetes head-on, so I started looking for the best gear and tools to help me manage it as well as possible. Much to my surprise, the only tools available were clunky and out-dated -- they looked (and functioned) like they were from the 1980s -- and the analytical software didn't do much beyond calculating averages. How could this be the way people manage diabetes in 2013!? Something had to change. I identified several critical needs right away: modern data-driven insights; mobile technology; and an approach, platform, and application that people love to use. This was the genesis of One Drop.
Data-driven self-careFor people with diabetes, the primary drivers of blood sugar are food, medication (insulin, oral diabetes meds, etc.), and activity. Before One Drop, there was no easy way to view and analyze all of that data in one place. In fact, there were so many barriers to bringing the data together that most people didn't do it at all. How can anyone make informed decisions about their diabetes without analyzing all of the factors that affect blood glucose? The answer is, they can't.
One Drop eliminates those barriers.One Drop takes all of your food, medication, and activity data and displays it right on your smartphone, beautifully and in an easy-to understand way. All of your data is in one place, on-demand whenever and wherever you need it. At the press of a button, you can see daily, weekly, and monthly blood glucose trends. Powerful analytical tools are constantly working in the background to: (1) decipher the relationships between your blood sugars, food, medication, and activity; and (2) provide you with insights that you can take action on immediately. You no longer need to wait for your semi-annual doctor appointment -- everything you need to make better decisions about your health is right there in the palm of your hand. And this is how it should be. We live in a world where everything is connected -- nearly all of the information we could ever want is at our fingertips, 24/7. We have intelligent tools to manage and optimize almost everything, from our finances to our social lives to our exercise routines. Why should diabetes be any different? The goal at One Drop is to bring diabetes technology up to speed with the rest of our lives. The future is about data-driven self-care: smart software and devices that make us smarter, more efficient, and more in control. By making all diabetes data accessible and actionable, we are empowering people to take control of their diabetes and make great choices for themselves.
How does One Drop work?
One Drop takes advantage of everything today's technology has to offer: high-speed mobile data, on-the-go image capture, social networking, hardcore data science, and machine learning. And it all begins with a simple but beautiful logging interface, which makes data collection as easy and painless as possible:
- food is logged by taking a picture with your smart phone and dialing in your carbs with the swipe of a finger;
- meds are logged either manually by dialing them in or automatically according to preset dosing schedules determined by the user*;
- activity is logged automatically through your phone's motion tracking software/hardware; and
- blood glucose is logged manually or automatically through third-party glucose monitoring apps (NOTE: A One Drop Bluetooth-connected glucose meter will be available in the 4th quarter of 2016.)
Each data point is a moment; multiple moments tell a story. One Drop analyzes your cumulative data and, in a simple visual, highlights high/low blood glucose moments and tells the story of how you got there (too little insulin, an intense workout, a big meal -- or all of the above!). Armed with this information, you can confidently make changes to your diabetes management plan. This is how One Drop empowers you to make better decisions and take control of your health. On top of that, One Drop is a community. Much like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, One Drop provides a social platform for sharing your diabetes data and day-to-day insights with other similarly-situated people.** In just 6 months, One Drop has collected millions of user-contributed data points for blood glucose, food, insulin, and activity. All of that data, connectedness, and engagement is driving a very vocal, active, and supportive One Drop community. And benefits of community don't end there: through aggregate community data, One Drop can gain insight into how the diabetes population is doing as a whole, as well as within different subgroups, which helps One Drop's analytical engine get "smarter" and provide better insights to everyone over time. We're all in this together!
Bottom line: Empowerment
People need to feel empowered in order to make a change. By removing barriers to data and providing a safe space to learn and interact, One Drop aims to transform the way people think about, talk about, and treat diabetes. We are bringing data and people together in a completely new way that eliminates stigma and silence, and, instead, encourages self-confidence and action. We want everyone with diabetes to feel empowered by their everyday experience -- every finger prick is an opportunity to take control of your health and live your life to the fullest. We are all in this together, taking it One Drop at a time.
* Automatic logging of medication will be available in the next update of One Drop, which will be released before the end of 2015. ** User data is anonymized and de-identified, so your information is private and secure.