BlackBerry to help youth monitor Diabetes

May 24, 2010 3:28:24 PM PDT
The Visiting Nurse Service of New York is running a pilot program for some young people with Type 1 diabetes. Patients can use a BlackBerry to help keep track of their chronic illness. Type 1 diabetes, also called insulin dependent diabetes, is generally diagnosed in children under age eight.

It is normally an inherited illness and because of its dependence on insulin which is affected by food and exercise, it requires a lot of attention.

Now the Visiting Nurse Service of New York is saying maybe a BlackBerry can help.

"About two-thirds of the kids currently do not manage their diabetes well. And that has a lot of implications in terms of short term complications and long term complications including short life expectancy. So these kids really need some help," Joanne Ahrens from the Visiting Nurse Service of New York explained.

Patients enter health information into the BlackBerry and nurses enter that data into their computers.

The pilot program will last two years, all under the sponsorship of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

Its outcome will determine whether there will be a wider application.

They now have a couple of dozen of teens enrolled in the program.

Sprint donated the BlackBerries, but Visiting Nurse Service of New York is paying for their use.