Who wants to be healthier?
Who would like to discover calorie free ice cream? [Ahem, I’ll raise
my hand here]
And who wants to spend their day navigating 10 different apps,
weighing their food and tracking their exercise? [silence…]
The hope and promise of digital health solutions belongs to everyone
but the way we think about it needs to change.
Today, the solution to managing a disease or improving health is
generally to do more. Count more calories, watch your carbs,
download an app, take your medicine, go to the gym, jump on a bike,
and don’t forget to manage your career, check on your parents, spend
time with your family, invest in savings, walk the dog…
We are expected to do more, but the power of digital health is in the
promise of less.
Diabetes can be a constant and unpredictable juggling act: managing
medicine and writing down or “logging” every dose, then monitoring
blood sugar, watching diet and exercise. Doctors and nurses are meant
to help and guide, but they often lack reliable, accurate information.
Smart insulin pens are one way we can reduce the day-to-day hassle.
By automatically recording how much insulin someone has taken and
when, people with diabetes have one less thing to do. Manual “log
books” are replaced with accurate, reliable information. It may sound
simple, but the impact is significant. Our type 1 study in Sweden
showed that smart insulin pens could improve time in the normal blood
sugar range by up to two hours. And rumour has it, people did not miss
“logging” their data either…
But this is only the beginning. When it comes to health, the
situation is urgent. Far more than a gadget that we’ll forget about
next month, digital solutions are needed to help shape and improve
society by giving everyone a healthier and happier
life now. But the true great opportunity is to think
differently about what we are asking of people – ask less and get more.
And hopefully, calorie-free ice cream one day too.
By Kristen Gail Andersen, Global Communication Lead in Digital
Health, Novo Nordisk