Becoming Proactive in Diabetes Care

Jonas Hoglund

MPO Magazine: The Fjord Fido project leverages big data, advanced analytics, and technology to get ahead.

Among the most significant chronic diseases being addressed by healthcare professionals today, few are as significant or increasing in number of patients affected as diabetes. The numbers are at epidemic proportions and all signs point to the numbers continuing to climb. As such, patients and caregivers need to take more control over this disease. They need to do as much as possible themselves to learn about the positive and negative lifestyle aspects that impact this disease.

With this in mind, Jonas Höglund, service design director at Fjord in Stockholm, is spearheading a project that leverages big data, monitoring technology, insulin delivery, and complex analytics to track and make predictions for patients. This solution enables people with diabetes to gain a better understanding of how daily activities impact their disease and take steps to avoid certain behavior at certain times. It’s an empowering solution that decreases the dependency on a doctor or healthcare professional, who are going to be facing growing challenges in attempting to address and treat more patients.

Höglund’s motivation for trying to resolve this complex problem is two-fold. For one, he recognizes the growing health problem diabetes represents for the world at large. But at a more personal level, he is attacking the problem for his son, who has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Knowing how significant and challenging it can be to keep track of all the information involved in addressing this disease, his goal is to empower the patient and caregivers to be able to become proactive in their approaches rather than reactive.

Höglund was kind enough to take a few moments to address some questions regarding his project, diabetes care, and the role of big data in healthcare.

Sean Fenske: Can you please tell me about the Fjord Fido project?

Jonas Höglund: Fido is a concept for a living service platform that enables a truly individual diabetes self-management. The platform combines the aggregation of personal “thick” data and environmental “big data,” with the use of advanced analytics, to empower the patient to learn, act, and predict.

Fenske: What are the device elements involved with it? 

Höglund: Fjord Fido is designed to be device agnostic. It’s a health analytic platform and doesn’t rely on any specific hardware, but rather collects data from an unspecified number of devices. The minimum set of required hardware devices to collect data from is an insulin pump and a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) for automatic aggregation of insulin doses and blood glucose values.

Fenske: Why did you focus in on diabetes?

Höglund: The World Health Organization has declared diabetes as a global epidemic. In 1985, about 35 million people were diagnosed with diabetes. This has skyrocketed to 415 million in 2015. The annual cost related to diabetes globally is $673 billion U.S. and there are an estimated five million deaths related to diabetes yearly.

The project was sprung from my personal needs as my son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes back in 2007. I could see a direct correlation between what I do for a living—designing data driven digital services—and my private life—staying on top of all data around Max to analyze and understand the correlation between food, activity, stress, insulin, and blood glucose. Today, the process is highly manual and no tools are available to pull all the big data together to identify patterns and reveal the direct cause and effect. As a result, our manual and daily analysis is highly limited and fully dependent on the amount of energy we as caretakers are willing to spend.

Read the full article at MPO Magazine.

Jonas Hoglund

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