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GSMA cycling tour to raise awareness of mHealth in diabetes

Cycling challenge to showcase the power of mobile health solutions

GSMA cycling diabetes

Cycling legend Eddy Merckx launched the GSMA mHealth Grand Tour last week, waving off seven teams of volunteer cyclists who will cycle from Brussels to Barcelona to raise awareness of how mobile technology can help prevent diabetes.

One hundred riders will take part on the 13-day tour, supported by the global mobile operators' association GSMA. Participants include people with diabetes, each wearing Dexcom continuous glucose monitors.

Sensors on the bike computers  of participants will transmit blood sugar level statistics over the ANT+ protocol to Sony Mobile handsets, enabling riders to track their own progress.

The sensors will also transmit the stats to a module operated by Orange solution that will send them over mobile broadband to a live website and to the cloud, to be downloaded and analysed later.

The tour website contains a McCann Health data visualisation portal for tracking the riders' stats and an Orange geolocation portal for monitoring their progress. All mobile broadband technologies in the solution comply with Continua Health Alliance guidelines for interoperability, said GSMA.

Elite and sub-elite riders will be the subjects of an observational study. Designed by Professor Michael Trenell of Newcastle University, it will look at the effects of multi-day endurance exercise on blood glucose levels.

“A physically active lifestyle is vital in managing all types of diabetes and yet there is very little published research on the physiology of how this works,” said Prof Trenell.

“The mHealth Grand Tour presents a unique, invaluable opportunity to conduct research using an innovative mHealth application that functions wirelessly, without intrusion into the riders' performance.”

The GSMA mHealth Grand Tour – the first of its kind – was organised in partnership with the International Diabetes Federation, European Region (IDF Europe). Partners include ANT+, Dexcom, Etisalat, HMM, McCann Health, Orange, Sony Mobile and u-blox.

10th September 2013

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