Sanofi-aventis has been out in front in terms of their connection with the diabetes online community for some time now. From the DiabetesMine Design Challenge to their human presence on twitter, Sanofi is continually showing us that they are committed to being a positive part of the community.
Today with the announcement of the iBGStar blood glucose meter they've brought the first iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch compatible meter to market. Is that exciting? Damn right it is but not completely for the reasons that you may think.
I haven't used or touched the iBGStar yet so I can't tell you the first thing about how well it works but I do know two things; I believe that Sanofi is committed to helping the DOC and they would be foolish to introduce this meter before it was ready for prime time. I expect that when I do have the chance to see the meter in person, I'll be impressed.
So if I haven't used it... why I'm I writing about it?
Simple... What Sanofi has done today is bigger then a meter, what they've done is throw down the gauntlet. Much like when Apple first introduced the iPhone, the release of this product says, "no more clunky technology that looks like it's from a 1976 sci-fi movie". Prior to the iPhone our cell phones were terrible and why were they? Because the companies that manufactured them had no reason to do anything about it. We were all using our flip phones and no one was complaining. That of course didn't mean that it wasn't possible to make something better, just that it didn't make sense for the companies to put the time, money or effort into making them better. That business model worked just fine and would still be in use today if Apple didn't raise the bar.
In my mind that's what Sanofi did today, they raised the bar. In the short-term that means there is a new meter on the market that fits better into our new iPhone lives. In the long-term, well, that's where we all benefit. I'd bet that right now there are meetings going on at every device manufacturer in the country and they are all wondering what they need to do to keep up... and that's great news for all of us that live with diabetes.
If you want to read a hands-on account of the iBGStar, there are probably plenty but I'd start with Allison's over at DiabetesMine. When you finish reading her write up you'll see the names of some other great D-bloggers that were at a launch event yesterday and I bet they will have their thoughts online very soon.
If you think back to what the first smartphone looked like or even consider how much the iPhone has changed since it's launch, then you'll be as excited as I am to wonder what blood glucose testing will look like in just a few years. It's my contention that none of these advancements happen until someone goes first. So for that alone... I say, "thank you" Sanofi!