Although key to the next round of trials, smartphones and tablets are not expected to play a role in commercial products. Ultimately, the medical electronics companies are expected to license or acquire algorithms with a solid track record and embed them into pumps or monitors.
“Phone makers won't want to have their handsets classed as medical devices and have the FDA audit them,” Pritchard said.
It's not clear how much processing power or memory those algorithms may require. However, they are expected to tap Bluetooth as a transport.
Three million Americans have type 1 diabetes, and 30,000 more are diagnosed with it each year, according to one diabetes group. About 20 percent wear pumps, but only about 2 percent wear continuous monitors.
The global market for monitors is expected to grow 12 percent to reach $370 million in 2016, 96 percent of them sold in the US. Given its size, the market is expected to pave the way for other automated, in-home test systems.
Researchers are exploring monitoring asthma conditions or the effectiveness of certain cancer therapies as the next step in home care. However, use cases still need to be proven.
"Every health care system is under pressure for cost reduction," says Pritchard. “But even if you can do a test in two rather than 30 minutes, you still must answer the 'so what' question."