Verizon recently announced its plan to provide private network services to the University of Virginia and Stanford University for a study on a series of devices called an “artificial pancreas” that could monitor glucose levels in patients with Type 1 diabetes and automatically release insulin into the body. The artificial pancreas utilizes a tiny glucose monitor inserted under the skin that transmits blood glucose levels to a smartphone. An app in the smartphone can then communicate with an insulin pump to release insulin into the body as often as necessary. Currently, diabetics must manage this process by manually measuring glucose levels throughout the day and injecting themselves with glucose.
Verizon supplied the researchers with a private Internet cloud for patient data and other underlying network support. According Jean McManus, Verizon’s executive director of technology, “[researchers] need to be able to have Internet and wireless capability, to enable data to be transferred between continuous medical devices.”