IBM Watson and Medtronic can predict a diabetic's low blood sugar hours before it occurs

About 415 million adults worldwide have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes according to the International Diabetes Association.

IBM and medical device maker Medtronic are working on an app that could really help them.

By analysing data from Medtronic diabetes monitoring devices (insulin pumps and glucose monitors), IBM’s artificial intelligence computer Watson can predict a low blood sugar problem up to three hours before it actually hits.

That’s enough time to take corrective action and prevent problems.

The two have been working on the app since April. Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak joined IBM CEO Ginni Rometty on stage at the Consumer Electronics Show to talk about it.

The two conducted a pilot with 600 anonymous patient cases. Watson analysed the data from their Medtronic devices to find the indicators of hypoglycemia — extreme low blood sugar — and discovered that it could find them hours in advance.

The app is slated to be available this summer.

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