Computer device 'helps' diabetics

Iain Mackenzie Newsbeat technology reporter

Children with type 1 diabetes can use the programme to check their condition
Children with type 1 diabetes can use the programme to check their condition

A handheld computer console game has been developed to help diabetic children monitor their condition.

The Didget system for the Nintendo DS is designed to encourage young people to test their blood sugar levels regularly.

Users download the results to their console and are rewarded with game points.

25,000 children in the UK have diabetes. Those with type 1 need to test their blood every few hours.

The regime can be tough, according to 11-year-old George Dove: “It is boring, but I am quite good at remembering to do it because I know if I don’t do it, I know that I could get really ill,” he said.

“When I am low I go really shaky, get blurred vision and can’t speak very well. After the first year or so you get used to it and I know when I am having a hypo.”

Hypoglycaemia, or low blood sugar, is one of the risks associated with diabetes.

However, if the condition isn’t managed properly it can lead to heart disease and blindness.

For more about diabetes device

    Virtual surgery places health in patients’ hands

    Moray residents can chat with fellow sufferers and read clinicians’ blogs

    By Donna MacAllister

    Published: 12/11/2009

    Moray’s first “virtual” surgery, designed to make people experts in their own healthcare, was launched yesterday.

    Health-e-space.com enables patients to “visit the clinic”, chat to other Moray residents with similar medical problems, pinpoint local health information, read clinicians’ blogs on specialist subjects and link to recommended health sites.

    Site founder Professor Grant Cumming, a consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician at Dr Gray’s Hospital, Elgin, said it was time everyone took responsibility for their own health.

    He added: “Some analysts are predicting almost every school-leaver would have to join the medical profession by 2020 to maintain current levels of health.

    “I think we can use digital technology to improve the whole aspect of information.”

    Dr Cumming assured website users about security, promising no patient records would be posted online and visitors could remain anonymous if they wanted.

    He said existing e-health websites, such as menopausematters.com, received millions of hits a month, and this new approach had been shown to improve health both mentally and physically.