Artificial Intelligence and Diabetes

There are approximately 80 million people who have been diagnosed with Diabetes in India. The figures for the USA is 29 million which is approximately 9% of their population. Type I diabetes occurs when your body does not produce Insulin and Type II occurs when you become resistant to the insulin implying that your body is unable to process the insulin being produced. Both types can lead to a host of other challenges including inflammation, liver and kidney malfunction and cardiac diseases. Depending on the nature of your problem and its gravity, a Doctor would ask you to take insulin to compensate. Anyone who has suffered or knows someone who has suffered, can easily vouch for the fact that its extremely hard to maintain your schedule, administer the dose regularly especially since it requires you to inject yourself.

Convergence occurs when multiple technologies combine to provide you a solution for a specific problem. Recently, the FDA in the US approved the first artificial pancreas that can administer the correct dosage of insulin to your body depending on your levels of sugar. This, an out of body device the size of your smart phone wirelessly talks to sensors in your body and monitors the level of sugar and then using algorithms crunches the data to predict your requirement of insulin and then administers the dosage. This ensures that you get the required dosage at the appropriate time without much manual intervention. These are early days and the device still requires some human intervention, but as it true with technology in later versions going forward this will become increasingly automated. The device is still expensive but prices would come down over time again. An incorrect dosage of insulin can kill a person and therefore the ability of the machine to both predict the sugar levels and then correctly administer the dosage is vital.

That technology is able to make decisions that affect your life is both scary and exciting at the same time. The exciting part of this new technology is that machines have shown that once a routine is established they have an unmatched capability to perform the same task over and over again without mistake. The scary thing about this is you are dealing with life and its unpredictability. How a machine performs when a black swan event occurs with your sugar levels is yet to be tested.

PS: if you are over thirty and over weight, please get yourself tested as the risk of Diabetes could be significant and often, you may have it without knowing.