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Life Update

Diabetes, Cellphones, and a Strange Realization.

So as I mentioned in a previous post, I now have a continuous glucose monitor — the FreeStyle Libre 14 Day system. The piece of hardware that I wear will pull a rolling eight hour number for my blood sugar that I can check at any time and see how I’m doing.

I grazed over the fact that I can check my numbers with my cellphone, and didn’t really think too deeply on it when I first got my meter. I’m on day 12 of wearing the puck, and realized that my mobile device choice is now that much more tightly bound to my glucose meter needs. Why?

Simple: The puck requires Near Field Communications (NFC). If I’m ever somewhere and need to check my blood sugar, but didn’t bring the regular meter with me, as long as my phone has NFC and the LibreLink app installed, I can still check on my body’s condition and make sure I’m okay.

This is moderately important now, but what happens when I am ready to upgrade my phone, or have to replace it because ill befell the device?

I know how to identify devices with near field communications, but not every consumer does. And while I would love to take it as fact that any consumer that’s using this meter in the way I am using it would know what to look for, I know better than to do that.

So, knowing that any device that supports Android Pay or Apple Pay has an NFC radio built in is two thirds of the battle won there. Pairing that with the FreeStyle Libre 14 Day sensor gives the all-around solution.

But there’s a surprising lack of phones on the Android side of the line that offer NFC.

This is why I’d push for NFC to be more ubiquitous across Android devices: We have more things that are coming to market that can make use of the tech. The personal computer, whether we’ve come to realize it or not, required a paradigm shift to be understood. Yes, we have desktop computers, laptop computers, but the personal computer, as we define it? It should have had its definition updated to the little devices we keep calling ‘smartphones’.

It’s typically the ONLY computer we wear on our person, as well as rely on for many different things, such as navigation, payments, communications, security, and even healthcare. We’re building a litany of devices that communicate with these phones, shoving kilobyte after kilobyte of our lives into their 5.5″ grasps, and so many folks are increasingly lost without them after shoving their expanded consciousness into the slab that’s in their pocket.

That ALL of Apple’s pocket-sized personal computers have NFC, and only a thin slice of those in the Android ecosystem have it is disheartening.

This said, I now know that unless I switch away from this glucose testing system, I’m fairly obligated to pick a phone that has NFC, should I ever have to replace my cellphone. Here’s to not having to replace my phone for the next three years, I hope…

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