It is estimated that in Germany the total percentage of people with diabetes is more than 9%. More than half of all diabetics is aged 65 years and above. Once the affected people know about their disease, they can take care by themselfes and level their blood glucose by regular monitoring and an adapted lifestyle – maybe including giving insulin injections. Usually it‘s not a problem for them to have a „normal“ life, including driving a car and travelling over long distances.
But what about situations, which are unusual and influence the blood glucose level in an unusual manner (e.g. stress, traffic jam)?
Consequences of hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose level) can be reduction of sensory perception and complete loss of consciousness. This dramatically increases the risk to cause an accident while driving a car.
Though there are clear regulations and directives for diabetics who are driving cars, the risk of coming into exceptional situations, resulting in one of the described effects cannot completely be eliminated. Still every day road accidents are happening as direct or indirect consequences of a diabetic disease of a driver.
How can we manage to give those people the possibility to be aware of their blood glucose level while driving a car? Having a look at today‘s common ways of blood glucose monitoring techniques for diabetics, there seems to be a simple yet very effective solution: Why not take a electronically readable glucose sensor tag (like Abbott FreeStyle libre) and read it out regularly by the vehicle while driving?
This would enable the vehicle to warn the driver if a limit is reached and enable it to perform emergency actions (e.g. emergency call, automated emergency brake) in case of life-threatening situations.
› Optimal placement of a reading unit (based on the Abbott system) in/ on the driver‘s seat
› Establish regular communication with the sensor tag
› Logging, monitoring and evaluation of the measurement values (e.g. history, trend)
› Deduction of reasonable actions (e.g. giving tips, advice, sending alarms) depending on the actual sensor measurement and adjustable levels
› Development of an intuitive human-machine interface (understandable, suited for all ages, maybe with pictograms,…) for visualization of measurement values and giving advice
› Presentation of the overall concept on the basis of a physical demonstrator (car seat, sensor tag, tag reader, HMI etc.)
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