Utahns among first to use app that wirelessly monitors glucose levels of those with diabetes

Posted at 10:31 PM, Oct 08, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-09 08:57:22-04

PARK CITY, Utah -- Some Park City parents are among the first in the country to begin using a new medical app that’s making a big difference when it comes to diabetes.

“That was life changing, that was the most amazing epiphany ever, when we brought it to school it was like a breath of fresh air, it opened doors that we never imagined,” said Bridget Llewellyn, who has a 5-year-old daughter with Type 1 diabetes.

Llewellyn is referring to the NightScout Project. The app, which has been around since April, can be downloaded to watches, phones and tablets. It wirelessly transmits the readings from a commonly used machine called the Dexcom, which monitors glucose levels. People with the app can then monitor loved ones blood sugar levels anytime, anywhere.

Llewellyn said before the NightScout Project she would drop her daughter off at school and depend on teachers and nurses to text her the glucose numbers. Sometimes it would be up to two hours between updates.

“In-between those periods you would wonder what was going on with the child because the blood sugar fluctuation is very dynamic, so day to day there is no regular pattern, so it can go up and down in a matter of 20 minutes, 30 minutes,” Llewellyn said.

Sara Sergent has an 8-year-old with Type 1 diabetes. She said sometimes she would be afraid to leave the parking lot after dropping him off at school.

“For us, if the blood sugar levels go too low that does mean death so as a caregiver, as a parent, that’s a lot of responsibility on a child’s shoulders, on a parent's shoulders,” Sergent said.

Sergent said now she can go on errands for hours at a time and feel comfortable.

“At any given time of the day I can see where he is at, I can watch him trending up, trending down,” Sergent said.

Sergent and Llewellyn were among the first 300 people in the country to begin using the app.

For teachers and nurses, it’s a transition from a reactive approach to students with Type 1 diabetes, to a proactive partnership with parents.

“It definitely gives the teachers peace of mind knowing that the parents are watching as well,” said Park City School District Nurse Nicole Kennedy. “It’s just one more back up plan in case something is going the wrong way, they know the parent will contact the school.”

The NightScout Project has yet to be approved by the FDA, but an application has been submitted by its creators.

For more information on the NightScout Project, click here.