Israeli startup Labstyle Innovations has started shipping the Dario, its smartphone-connected glucose meter for diabetics.
The company claims this is a first in that – unlike with the OneTouch Verio Sync , iBGStar or iHealth meters – the Dario acts as a pocket-sized home for the necessary testing strips and lancets, rather than requiring a separate pouch for this paraphernalia.
The Dario app, which launched a few months ago, connects with the meter to take readings (it can also take manual data entry based on other readers), provides information from a food database and tracks insulin and exercise.
Charts come out the other end, and there’s a nascent social network of sorts built around the functionality, for those who want it. You can also send reports off to doctors from the app, though there would need to be electronic health record compatibility there.
The device itself also contains a little dongle that plugs into the smartphone. Right now the meter only support Apple(s aapl) mobile devices, but Labstyle is promising an Android(s goog) app soon too – the aforementioned rivals only support iPhones and, while another player called Glooko has an app in the Play Store, it doesn’t provide its own meters.
The Dario is shipping to New Zealand first, while the U.K., Italy and Australia will follow soon. It’s not available in the U.S. yet as it is awaiting FDA approval, though Labstyle reckons this should arrive in a month or so. The company also claims it’s almost nailed health insurance reimbursement deals. It hasn’t announced pricing as such for the meter nor the proprietary strips.
All in all, the Dario appears to be a rather elegant little package – perhaps not quite as discreet as Google’s planned glucose-reading contact lenses, but possibly less problematic for diabetics who aren’t supposed to wear contact lenses for long periods anyway.