”bant”—an application for smartphones designed to help patients with diabetes—recently won the “People’s Choice” award at the inaugural World Congress mobile Health (mHealth) Innovation Exchange Conference in Boston, MA. Chosen by a popular vote of over 100 health information technology leaders in attendance, UHN placed 1st among ten other finalists. “The quality of the entrepreneur finalists indicated to me how far mHealth has come recently; these are creative, innovative companies that are well-backed. It’s an honour to have been selected from among such a strong group,” said Dr. Joseph Cafazzo, head of the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation at UHN and lead developer of bant.
bant is designed to help type 1 diabetics record and track their blood sugar levels. The app interfaces seamlessly with a blood sugar test unit (glucometer), making it convenient for users while avoiding potential errors that may arise from self-reporting. Trends in data can be analyzed instantly on the smartphone and stored in the secure online Telus Health Space, allowing for integration with the patient’s health record.
In an effort to engage the teen population, bant also integrates with social media for support and incorporates rewards such as iTunes gift certificates to encourage patients to take regular measurements and stay engaged with the community. Patient self-care is the focus of mHealth apps like bant and is an example of the use of new technology designed to help relieve some of the burden from traditional health care providers.