NEW ORLEANS — Tidepool, a nonprofit company based in San Francisco, has developed a cloud-based, open-source, HIPAA-compliant platform that allows aggregation of data across all diabetes devices.
The software, which is currently in beta testing, is free and provides unlimited storage, Brandon Arbiter, vice president and business developer of the company, said during a presentation here.
Arbiter recalled his endocrinologist handing him a stack of paper logs to record insulin used, blood glucose readings and eating habits when he was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 4 years ago. Those data, he was told, were to be faxed back to the endocrinologist’s office at the end of the day.
Arbiter, a former data analyst for New York-based online grocer Fresh Direct, said he immediately saw a problem.
“At Fresh Direct, one of the red flags I used to look for was, are you taking data and writing it down on a piece of paper?” Arbiter said during a presentation on new diabetes technology. “That’s not data. That’s something that ends up in the trash.”
Arbiter said his “red flag moment” gave him the idea to develop a platform that could integrate the data across all available diabetes devices and make it accessible in one easily readable place.
“If I have the leading insulin pump on the market, and the leading [continuous glucose monitor] on the market, I can’t see my data in one place at one time,” Arbiter said. “I’ve literally seen doctors and [certified diabetes educators] take the printouts and hold them up to the light, in an attempt to align the data. It is crazy. We can do so much better than this.”
Tidepool is currently building three applications, Arbiter said. The Tidepool Uploader is a Google Chrome extension that assists patients with uploading data from insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors and blood glucose meters to the platform. Blip, a Web-based application, streamlines data from a patient’s diabetes and related devices — insulin doses and carbohydrate consumption from pumps, blood glucose levels, and data from smartphones and wearable fitness devices — and makes those numbers viewable in one shareable interface.
Nutshell, a mobile app, helps patients with diabetes better manage the meals they eat and how to properly dose insulin for them, Arbiter said.
Tidepool currently has partnerships with multiple device makers to store their data on behalf of patients, including Dexcom, Omnipod, Tandem, Bayer, Lifescan, Medtronic and Animas, he said. Tidepool also formed a partnership with JDRF in September 2014.
“This paradigm that the clinician gets access to one set of data and reports, and the patient doesn’t get access to it, we think is absurd,” Arbiter said. “So, we’re building software that patients can get access to.
“This is my disease, and this is my data,” he said. “And I want to view it the way I want to view it, not the way you tell me to.” – by Regina Schaffer
Arbiter B. F01. Presented at: The American Association of Diabetes Educators Annual Meeting; Aug. 5-8, 2015; New Orleans.
Disclosure: Arbiter reports no relevant financial disclosures.