Sanofi-Aventis' iBGStar Glucose Meter to Connect with iPhone, iPod Touch

Sanofi-Aventis unveils the iBGStar mobile device at the EASD diabetes conference to convert the iPhone and iPod Touch into a glucometer.

At the European Association for the Study of Diabetes conference in Stockholm, Sweden, pharmaceutical firm Sanofi-Aventis took the wraps off its iBGStar Blood Glucose Meter, which will attach to the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch.

The iBGStar uses a technology by medical device manufacturer Agamatrix called Dynamic Electrochemistry to read a spectrum of information in the blood and produce accurate glucose counts. Dynamic Electrochemistry readings can compensate for altitude and temperature variations, Sanofi-Aventis reports.

Sanofi-Aventis, based in Paris, makes Lantus, the top-selling insulin drug and has been producing diabetes medication since 1923.

The iBGStar glucometer with iPhone and iPod connectivity allows diabetics to record 300 glucose readings, with each test session lasting 6 seconds, and then send the data to their doctor. Sanofi-Aventis also makes a stand-alone version of the mobile device called BGStar, which will hold 1,865 test results, recording the date, testing time and meal time. The BGStar unit also can sound up to seven alerts to notify users when it's time to take a reading.

Patients will be able to download iBGStar Diabetes Manager from the Apple App Store on iTunes to record blood glucose readings, carbs intake, insulin dose, injections, medications and exercise patterns. The app also forms an analysis of reading patterns based on different circumstances, like if a diabetic ate a food item that's not on the meal plan, and uses the iPhone's power to compute data and display results.

While introducing the device at the Stockholm conference, Pierre Chancel, senior vice president of Sanofi-Aventis' global diabetes division, stressed how the new device will easily fit into the daily lives of diabetics.

"This generation of innovative blood glucose monitors is key to making diabetes care fit into the everyday lives of people with diabetes and potentially improving their confidence in managing their condition," Chancel said according to a Sanofi-Aventis statement. "It is an important step toward our goal of delivering seamless connectivity between diagnostics, treatment and monitoring."

Although Sanofi-Aventis claims that the iBGStar is the first medical peripheral that can be connected to the iPhone or iPod Touch, others have come before. Johnson & Johnson's LifeScan division demonstrated its OneTouch glucose-reading gadgets at Apple's iPhone 3.0 preview event in March 2009. The OneTouch units connect to the iPhone via Bluetooth.

As the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions reported earlier in September, mobile devices have a big future in health monitoring. The Deloitte study found that diabetic and hypertensive patients at the Cleveland Clinic who used their smartphones to send medical readings to electronic medical records kept by physicians were able to reduce their visits to the doctor's office.

According to the American Diabetic Association, 23.6 million people in the United States, or 7.8 percent of the population, have been diagnosed with the condition.

Both the iBGStar and BGStar, announced on Sept. 21, will be available in early 2011. Sanofi-Aventis is seeking FDA approval for the products.