Hygieia Progressing with Software and Device to Guide Insulin Dosages for Diabetics

1/3/11

Diabetics can often beat back the effects of their disease through their own actions such as diet and exercise. But when it comes to adjusting their insulin dosages to better control their blood-sugar levels, they typically need to consult a doctor or clinician. Ann Arbor, MI-based Hygieia is developing technology to put changing insulin dosages into the hands of patients.

“What we were able to do is develop software that can replicate the way a clinician thinks and provide a recommendation that is similar to what an expert would have done,” says Eran Bashan, co-founder and CEO of Hygieia.

The startup is developing software—now being tested in a clinical trial at the International Diabetes Center in Minneapolis—that analyzes a patient’s current and historical blood glucose readings to tell him or her how much insulin to take. The goal is to get patients’ blood sugar to healthy levels and reduce their risk of developing complications from the disease.

Studies show that lowering blood-sugar levels in diabetics leads to a reduced risk of loss of sight, kidney dysfunction, and neurological damage due. With nearly 24 million diabetics in the U.S., controlling and preventing the disease is a major priority in the healthcare system. And though there are about 6.2 billion glucose tests done in this country each year, Bashan says, physicians only see the results of a scant 1 percent to 2 percent of the tests.

Enter Hygieia’s co-founders Bashan and Israel Hodish, a physician at the University of Michigan Medical School. Bashan, who earned his doctorate in electrical engineering at U-M, says that he worked with Hodish to develop software that essentially automated the analysis that the physician does while figuring out the best insulin dosages for his patients.

There are now some 40 patients enrolled in a clinical trial of the software in Minneapolis, Bashan says, and the firm’s plan is to put the software into a smartphone-sized device and release it later … Next Page »

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