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Title:
MACHINE-TO-MACHINE MOBILE HEALTH COMMUNICATIONS DEVICE FOR DIABETES REMOTE MONITORING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/048875
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An integrated machine-to-machine mobile health gateway communications device (30) for diabetes remoting monitoring is described. The communications device (30) is connectable to a plurality of different types of glucose meter and the Internet. The device (30) comprises a controller, a first communications interface (70) for connecting to a glucose meter, the glucose meter being one of a plurality of different types of glucose meter to which the first communications interface can connect, and receiving blood glucose measurements from the connected glucose meter, a second communications interface (80) for connecting to the Internet and transmitting the received blood glucose measurements over the Internet to a remote server (100), a battery, for powering the medical communications device, and a motion sensor. The controller is operable to activate the communications device (30) in response to the motion sensor detecting movement of the communications device (30). Other embodiments provide for intelligent selection of a communications channel for use by the second communications interface (80).

Inventors:
ISTEPANIAN, Robert Shukri Habib (6 Glebe Park AvenueBedhampton, Havant Hampshire PO9 3JR, PO9 3JR, GB)
Application Number:
GB2018/052548
Publication Date:
March 14, 2019
Filing Date:
September 07, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
IKHARE LIMITED (6 Glebe Park Avenue, Bedhampton, Havant Hampshire PO9 3JR, PO9 3JR, GB)
International Classes:
G16H40/63; G16H10/60
Domestic Patent References:
WO2012060810A12012-05-10
Foreign References:
US20110090086A12011-04-21
US20120059673A12012-03-08
US20140321246A12014-10-30
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SACKIN, Robert (Reddie & Grose LLP, The White Chapel Building10 Whitechapel High Street, London Greater London E1 8QS, E1 8QS, GB)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A mobile health gateway communications device for diabetes remoting

monitoring, said communications device being connectable to a plurality of different types of glucose meter and the Internet, the device comprising:

a controller;

a first communications interface for connecting to a glucose meter, the glucose meter being one of a plurality of different types of glucose meter to which the first communications interface can connect, and receiving blood glucose measurements from the connected glucose meter;

a second communications interface for connecting to the Internet and transmitting the received blood glucose measurements over the Internet to a remote server;

a battery, for powering the medical communications device; and

a motion sensor;

wherein the controller is operable to activate the communications device in response to the motion sensor detecting movement of the communications device.

2. A mobile health gateway communications device according to claim 1 ,

wherein the controller is operable to deactivate the communications device after the expiry of a predetermined time period.

3. A mobile health gateway communications device according to claim 2,

wherein the predetermined time period is measured from the time of activation of the communications device.

4. A mobile health gateway communications device according to any preceding claim, wherein the motion sensor is an accelerometer.

5. A mobile health gateway communications device according to any preceding claim, wherein the communications device can be activated only in response to the motion sensor detecting movement of the device.

6. A mobile health gateway communications device according to any preceding claim, wherein the controller is responsive to the signal from the motion sensor to establish communications with a glucose meter using the first communications interface.

7. A mobile health gateway communications device according to claim 6,

wherein establishing communications with the glucose meter comprises detecting and identifying a glucose meter connected to the device as one of a plurality of different types of glucose meter which the communications device is capable of communicating with.

8. A mobile health gateway communications device for diabetes remote

monitoring, said communications device being connectable to a plurality of different types of glucose meter and the Internet, the device comprising: a controller; a first communications interface for connecting to a glucose meter, the glucose meter being one of a plurality of different types of glucose meter to which the first communications interface can connect, and receiving blood glucose measurements from the connected glucose meter;

a second communications interface for connecting to the Internet and transmitting the received blood glucose measurements over the Internet to a remote server;

wherein the controller is configurable to communicate with a plurality of different types of glucose meter using respective different communications protocols, the controller being responsive to signature data received from the glucose meter to determine a type of that glucose meter, to identify which of the communications protocols to use to communicate with the glucose meter, and to communicate with that glucose meter via the first communications interface using that communications protocol.

9. A mobile health gateway communications device according to claim 8,

wherein the controller is operable to broadcast an interrogation message, the signature data being transmitted by the glucose meter in response to the interrogation message.

10. A mobile health gateway communications device according to claim 9,

wherein the interrogation message is one of a plurality of stored interrogation messages each corresponding to one of the types of glucose meters, the controller being operable to transmit the stored interrogation messages in turn, until signature data is received from the glucose meter which matches an expected response to a transmitted interrogation message.

11. A mobile health gateway communications device according to claim 10,

wherein the interrogation messages are stored in a table and a pointer is used to select which of the interrogation messages is to be sent, the pointer being incremented each time an expected response to an interrogation message is not received.

12. A mobile health gateway communications device according to claim 10 or claim 11 , wherein a first interrogation message to be transmitted upon activation of the communications device is an interrogation message corresponding to a glucose meter most recently connected to the

communications device prior to the communications device being deactivated.

13. A mobile health gateway communications device according to claim 9,

wherein the interrogation message is a standard protocol message of one type of glucose meter, and the signature is a standard protocol message which a glucose meter of that type would be expected to transmit in response to the interrogation message.

14. A mobile health gateway communications device according to any preceding claim, wherein the controller is further operable to detect and connect wirelessly with a Bluetooth capable glucose meter.

15. A mobile health gateway communications device according to any preceding claim, wherein the controller is operable to detect a glucose meter which is connected via a wire to the first communications interface.

16. A mobile health gateway communications device according to any preceding claim, wherein the device receives via the first communications interface a glucose measurement and associated time stamp, checks the time stamp against the time stamps of the patient's glucose measurements currently stored in the remote server, and transmits the glucose measurement to the remote server only if it is determined that no matching time stamp exists for the patient at the remote server.

17. A mobile health gateway communications device according to any preceding claim, wherein the device is operable to receive biometric data from one or more further medical devices via the first communications interface, and transmit the received biometric data via the second communications interface.

18. A mobile health gateway communications device according to claim 17,

wherein the controller is operable to establish a local master/slave network with the communications device as a master and the glucose meter and each further medical device as slaves, the device being operable to relay data generated by devices on the master/slave network via the Internet to the remote server.

19. A mobile health gateway communications device according to any preceding claim, wherein the first communications interface comprises a Bluetooth connection or other short range wireless connection.

20. A mobile health gateway communications device according to any preceding claim, wherein the first communications interface comprises an RS232 and/or icro-USB connection.

21.A mobile health gateway communications device according to any preceding claim, wherein the controller is operable to transmit received measurement data to a personal electronic device via the first communications interface.

22. A mobile health gateway communications device according to any preceding claim, wherein the first communications interface comprises both a wired connection capability and a wireless connection capability.

23. A mobile health gateway communications device for diabetes remoting

monitoring, said communications device being connectable to a plurality of different types of glucose meter and the Internet, the device comprising:

a controller;

a first communications interface for connecting to a glucose meter, the glucose meter being one of a plurality of different types of glucose meter to which the first communications interface can connect, and receiving blood glucose measurements from the connected glucose meter;

a second communications interface for connecting to the Internet and transmitting the received blood glucose measurements over the Internet to a remote server;

wherein the second communications interface comprises first and second modules for establishing a connection to the Internet via respective different first and second communications channels, the controller being operable to first attempt to use the first module to connect to the Internet using the first communications channel, and if the first module is unable to connect to the Internet, to use the second module to connect to the Internet using the second communications channel.

24. A medical communications device according to claim 23, wherein the

controller is responsive to the receipt of measurement data via the first communications interface to establish the connection to the Internet via the second communications interface.

25. A medical communications device according to claim 23 or claim 24, wherein the first communications channel is a WiFi connection and the second communications channel is a cellular telecommunications channel.

26. A mobile health gateway communications device according to any one of claims 23 to 25, wherein the controller is operable to use the first or second module to establish an Internet communications session with the remote server via the selected communications channel using a machine-to-machine protocol.

27. A mobile health gateway communications device according to claim 26,

wherein the glucose measurements and any other biometric data are communicated to the remote server and stored for further viewing using the available device machine to machine internet cellular or WiFi protocols.

28. A mobile health gateway communications device according to claim 26 or claim 27, wherein the acquired glucose measurements are transmitted to the remote server using either a HTTP or MQTT protocol depending on the available communication channel identified by the device and a type of first and second module used for Internet communications for each

communication channel.

29. A diabetes remoting monitoring method using a mobile health gateway

communications device which is connectable to a plurality of different types of glucose meter and the Internet, the device comprising a controller, a first communications interface for connecting to a glucose meter, the glucose meter being one of a plurality of different types of glucose meter to which the first communications interface can connect, and receiving blood glucose measurements from the connected glucose meter, a second communications interface for connecting to the Internet and transmitting the received blood glucose measurements over the Internet to a remote server, a battery, for powering the medical communications device, and a motion sensor, the method comprising activating the communications device in response to the motion sensor detecting movement of the communications device.

30. A method of diabetes remote monitoring using mobile health gateway communications device which is connectable to a plurality of different types of glucose meter and the Internet, the device comprising a controller, a first communications interface for connecting to a glucose meter, the glucose meter being one of a plurality of different types of glucose meter to which the first communications interface can connect, and receiving blood glucose measurements from the connected glucose meter, and a second

communications interface for connecting to the Internet and transmitting the received blood glucose measurements over the Internet to a remote server, the controller being configurable to communicate with a plurality of different types of glucose meter using respective different communications protocols, the method comprising determining, in response to signature data received from the glucose meter, a type of that glucose meter, identifying which of the communications protocols to use to communicate with the glucose meter, and communicating with that glucose meter via the first communications interface using that communications protocol.

31. A method of diabetes remoting monitoring using a mobile health gateway communications device which is connectable to a plurality of different types of glucose meter and the Internet, the device comprising a controller, a first communications interface for connecting to a glucose meter, the glucose meter being one of a plurality of different types of glucose meter to which the first communications interface can connect, and receiving blood glucose measurements from the connected glucose meter, and a second

communications interface for connecting to the Internet and transmitting the received blood glucose measurements over the Internet to a remote server, the second communications interface comprising first and second modules for establishing a connection to the Internet via respective different first and second communications channels, the method comprising first attempting to use the first module to connect to the Internet using the first communications channel, and if the first module is unable to connect to the Internet, using the second module to connect to the Internet using the second communications channel. , A computer program which when executed on a data processing device, causes the data processing device to carry out a method according to any of claims 29 to 31.

Description:
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Technical Field

The present invention relates to a machine-to-machine mobile health

communications device, system and method for diabetes remote monitoring.

Background

Diabetes Meliitus is a major global chronic disease pandemic with estimated 382 million people living with diabetes worldwide and further 316 million with impaired glucose tolerance are at high risk from the disease - an alarming number that is set to reach 471 million by 2035 (International Diabetes Federation, IDF DIABETES ATLAS Sixth edition, ISBN: 2-930229-85-3, 2013 www.idf.org/diabetesatlas). In recent years, self-management of diabetes by way of blood glucose monitoring (SMBG - self monitoring of blood glucose) using mobile phones has become an integral part of the clinical treatment and management of diabetes for both for Type-1 and Type-2 patients (American Diabetes Association, (2013), Standards of medical care in diabetes— 2013. Diabetes Care 2013; 36 Suppl 1 : S11-66, and CLARKE S F and FOSTER J R (2012), A history of blood glucose meters and their role in self- monitoring of diabetes meliitus, British Journal of Biomedical Science, 69,2, 83-93, and Istepanian R. S. H. and Woodward , B. (2017). M-health fundamentals and applications, IEEE- John Wiley, USA).

With a typical mobile diabetes self-management system, a patient glucose meter and other medical devices used in the diabetes management are connected wirelessly usually via Bluetooth connectivity between the patient and the patient's smart phone or tablet. The smart phone or tablet is equipped with an application developed to cause it to cooperate with the glucose meter, and to in turn transmit the acquired blood glucose data or other medical data via a cellular phone network to a remote server for further viewing and advice by doctors or other healthcare providers. The blood glucose data (or other medical data) can be accessed and viewed by the patient and physician via web portals for follow-up purposes by the healthcare

i providers. The data is stored in servers usually hosted in secure locations and located in the hospitals or in the healthcare provider (HCP) vicinity. The key medical monitoring device and sensors for the diabetes self-management system are typically the glucose meters that measure the blood sugar levels in the body given to any patient diagnose with Type-1 or Type-2 diabetes. The additional medical devices and sensors related to diabetes management such as blood pressure, weight scale and insulin pump are usually recommended by the clinicians and diabetic specialists depending on the type of the diabetes (T1 D or T2D) and the stage of diagnosis or prognosis of the disease. The schedule and frequency of taking the daily blood glucose readings and other medical data is also dependent on the individual care plan and recommendations for each patient by their specialist and based on their individual diabetes type, treatment protocol and progress. The timing of these is usually set in the patient's diabetic smart phone apps to remind the patient on the timings of these readings according to these pre-set schedules.

The clinical principle of diabetes self-management systems is that the patients with their smart phones and connected wireless blood glucose meters play central part in their glycaemic control process to avoid any undesirable changes in their own blood glucose level through monitoring their blood glucose and maintaining these to specific clinically acceptable levels. This process is supplemented by proper wellness educational and meal intake activities, daily activity presented to the patient through using the patient's own mobile phone application (APP). The paper "Value of Self-Monitoring Blood Glucose Pattern Analysis in Improving Diabetes outcomes" by Parkin and Davidson (Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, Volume 3, Issue 3, May 2009) discusses the benefits of diabetes self-management of self- monitoring blood glucose. This feedback information process empowers the diabetic patients to better control their blood glucose levels and also aid their clinicians to better plan their patient treatment plans for insulin administration levels and thus avoid any unacceptable complications such hyperglycaemias. This concept has been subject to many patent applications in the past. However, these patent applications illustrate one communications connectivity path with a single type of medical device or glucose meter type with single smart phone application connected to it. Existing techniques usually use a proprietary approach with each smart phone application and phone device being capable of communicating only with single and specific glucose meter types. The specific glucose meter types may be all glucose meters associated with a particular manufacturer, or may be only a subset of the glucose meters of a particular manufacturer (that is, there may be multiple

applications required to cover all glucose meters of a single manufacturer).

Different application platforms are not interoperable with each other and cannot communicate to transfer and communicate the biometric data from different glucose meters to other platforms. The biometric data is mostly blood glucose data, but can also include other information that some blood glucose devices generate, such as B- Ketone monitoring, which is important for Type-1 diabetes monitoring. This lack of interoperability in this case for using different proprietary platforms are only designed and developed to operate and communicate with their own blood glucose meter specific manufacturer bound communications connectivity modules. There are newer glucose meters that are formed with their own Bluetooth connectivity modules, however, these can only connect and transfer the biometric data to their own smart phone applications (apps) that are proprietary and specific to the manufacturers of these devices and are not interoperable with other blood glucose data platforms.

Each of these individual blood glucose meters operates with different communication protocols designed and developed within their own specific data communications and packet messaging sequences. Most of these are used to download the biometric (glucose) data using only their specific input/output interface ports tied with specific manufacturer's own software platform and only compatible with specific smart phone connectivity application (App). Today, tens of millions of diabetic patients worldwide use (a variety of) different blood glucose meters types and modules that are available in the market from different models and manufacturers with varying costs and efficiency that allow downloads of the glucose data captured by the patient using propriety software and hardware platforms. This non- interoperable bottleneck restricts the choice of the patients and doctors from the freedom to use different glucose meters that can be for example either less costly, more power efficient with longer battery life or are more accurate.

The more recent evolution of the concept of Internet of Things (IOT) will enable future remote diabetes monitoring and self-management systems to accommodate this interoperability concept and the expected massive increase internet connected medical devices. There are estimated to be in the billions of connected medical sensors and devices expected to be used by diabetic patients worldwide in the near future (Wu G, Talwar S, Johnsson K, Himayat N & Johnson KD (2011 ). M2M: From mobile to embedded internet, IEEE Communications Magazine 49,4, 36-43).

The present invention is intended to address certain of the limitations associated with existing technology in this field.

Summary of the Invention

According to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a mobile health gateway communications device for diabetes remote monitoring, said

communications device being connectable to a plurality of different types of glucose meter and the Internet, the device comprising:

a controller;

a first communications interface for connecting to a glucose meter, the glucose meter being one of a plurality of different types of glucose meter to which the first communications interface can connect, and receiving blood glucose

measurements from the connected glucose meter;

a second communications interface for connecting to the Internet and transmitting the received blood glucose measurements over the Internet to a remote server;

a battery, for powering the medical communications device; and

a motion sensor;

wherein the controller is operable to activate the communications device in response to the motion sensor detecting movement of the communications device. The activation of the communications device by the controller may be considered an automatic self-activation of the communications device in response to movement of the device being detected.

The controller may be operable to deactivate the communications device after the expiry of a predetermined time period. The predetermined time period may be measured from the time of activation of the communications device. The motion sensor may be an acceierometer.

In some embodiments, the communications device can be activated only in response to the motion sensor detecting movement of the device. In other words, no separate mechanism (such as an manually operated actuator or power switch) is present on the device to activate it.

The controller may be responsive to the signal from the motion sensor to establish communications with a glucose meter using the first communications interface. That is, in addition to powering on the device, the detection of movement causes the device to attempt to set up a connection with a connected or connectable glucose meter. Establishing communications with the glucose meter may comprise detecting and identifying a glucose meter connected to the device as one of a plurality of different types of glucose meter which the communications device is capable of communicating with.

According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provide a mobile health gateway communications device for diabetes remote monitoring, said communications device being connectable to a plurality of different types of glucose meter and the Internet, the device comprising:

a controller;

a first communications interface for connecting to a glucose meter, the glucose meter being one of a plurality of different types of glucose meter to which the first communications interface can connect, and receiving blood glucose

measurements from the connected glucose meter;

a second communications interface for connecting to the Internet and transmitting the received blood glucose measurements over the Internet to a remote server;

wherein the controller is configurable to communicate with a plurality of different types of glucose meter using respective different communications protocols, the controller being responsive to signature data received from the glucose meter to determine a type of that glucose meter, to identify which of the communications protocols to use to communicate with the glucose meter, and to communicate with that glucose meter via the first communications interface using that communications protocol.

It will be understood that the first communications interface communicatively couples the communications device to a glucose meter - either by wired or wireless means. The second communications interface communicatively couples the communications device to the Internet - either by way of a WiFi connection or a cellular connection.

The controller may be operable to broadcast an interrogation message, the signature data being transmitted by the glucose meter in response to the interrogation message. The interrogation message may be one of a plurality of stored

interrogation messages each corresponding to one of the types of glucose meters, the controller being operable to transmit the stored interrogation messages in turn, until signature data is received from the glucose meter which matches an expected response to a transmitted interrogation message. The interrogation messages may be stored in a table and a pointer may be used to select which of the interrogation messages is to be sent, the pointer being incremented (or decremented) each time an expected response to an interrogation message is not received. The

interrogation messages may be stored in the controller.

A first interrogation message to be transmitted upon activation of the

communications device may be an interrogation message corresponding to a glucose meter most recently connected to the communications device prior to the communications device being deactivated.

The interrogation message may be a standard protocol message of one type of glucose meter, and the signature may correspondingly be a standard protocol message which a glucose meter of that type would be expected to transmit in response to the interrogation message.

The controller may be further operable to detect and connect wirelessly with a Bluetooth capable glucose meter. The controller may be operable to detect a glucose meter which is connected via a wire to the first communications interface.

The device may receive via the first communications interface a glucose

measurement and associated time stamp, checking the time stamp against the time stamps of the patient's glucose measurements currently stored in the remote server, and transmit the glucose measurement to the remote server only if it is determined that no matching time stamp exists for the patient at the remote server.

The device may be operable to receive biometric data from one or more further medical devices via the first communications interface, and transmit the received biometric data via the second communications interface.

The controller may be operable to establish a local master/slave network with the communications device as a master and the glucose meter and each further medical device as slaves, the device being operable to relay data generated by devices on the master/slave network via the Internet to the remote server.

The first communications interface may comprise a Bluetooth connection or other short range wireless connection. Alternatively (or in addition thereto), the first communications interface may comprise an RS232 and/or Micro-USB connection.

The controller may be operable to transmit received measurement data to a personal electronic device via the first communications interface.

The first communications interface may comprise both a wired connection capability and a wireless connection capability.

According to a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a mobile health gateway communications device for diabetes remoting monitoring, said

communications device being connectable to a plurality of different types of glucose meter and the Internet, the device comprising:

a controller; a first communications interface for connecting to a glucose meter, the glucose meter being one of a plurality of different types of glucose meter to which the first communications interface can connect, and receiving blood glucose

measurements from the connected glucose meter;

a second communications interface for connecting to the Internet and transmitting the received blood glucose measurements over the Internet to a remote server;

wherein the second communications interface comprises first and second modules for establishing a connection to the Internet via respective different first and second communications channels, the controller being operable to first attempt to use the first module to connect to the Internet using the first communications channel, and if the first module is unable to connect to the Internet, to use the second module to connect to the Internet using the second communications channel.

The controller may be responsive to the receipt of measurement data via the first communications interface to establish the connection to the Internet via the second communications interface.

The first communications channel may be a WiFi connection and the second communications channel may be a cellular telecommunications channel.

The controller may be operable to use the first or second module to establish an Internet communications session with the remote server via the selected

communications channel using a machine-to-machine protocol.

The glucose measurements and any other biometric data may be communicated to the remote server and stored for further viewing using the available device machine to machine internet cellular or WiFi protocols.

The acquired glucose measurements may be transmitted to the remote server using either a HTTP or MQTT protocol depending on the available communication channel identified by the device and a type of first and second module used for Internet communications for each communication channel. According to a fourth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a diabetes remote monitoring method using a mobile health gateway communications device which is connectable to a plurality of different types of glucose meter and the Internet, the device comprising a controller, a first communications interface for connecting to a glucose meter, the glucose meter being one of a plurality of different types of glucose meter to which the first communications interface can connect, and receiving blood glucose measurements from the connected glucose meter, a second communications interface for connecting to the internet and transmitting the received blood glucose measurements over the Internet to a remote server, a battery, for powering the medical communications device, and a motion sensor, the method comprising activating the communications device in response to the motion sensor detecting movement of the communications device.

According to a fifth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of diabetes remote monitoring using mobile health gateway communications device which is connectable to a plurality of different types of glucose meter and the

Internet, the device comprising a controller, a first communications interface for connecting to a glucose meter, the glucose meter being one of a plurality of different types of glucose meter to which the first communications interface can connect, and receiving blood glucose measurements from the connected glucose meter, and a second communications interface for connecting to the Internet and transmitting the received blood glucose measurements over the Internet to a remote server, the controller being configurable to communicate with a plurality of different types of glucose meter using respective different communications protocols, the method comprising determining, in response to signature data received from the glucose meter, a type of that glucose meter, identifying which of the communications protocols to use to communicate with the glucose meter, and communicating with that glucose meter via the first communications interface using that communications protocol.

According to a sixth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of diabetes remote monitoring using a mobile health gateway communications device which is connectable to a plurality of different types of glucose meter and the

Internet, the device comprising a controller, a first communications interface for connecting to a glucose meter, the glucose meter being one of a plurality of different types of glucose meter to which the first communications interface can connect, and receiving blood glucose measurements from the connected glucose meter, and a second communications interface for connecting to the Internet and transmitting the received blood glucose measurements over the Internet to a remote server, the second communications interface comprising first and second modules for establishing a connection to the Internet via respective different first and second communications channels, the method comprising first attempting to use the first module to connect to the Internet using the first communications channel, and if the first module is unable to connect to the Internet, using the second module to connect to the Internet using the second communications channel.

It should be understood that, while the first, second and third aspects of the present invention have been defined distinctly, two or more of these aspects may be (and preferably are) combined. Further, the optional features associated with each aspects may, where applicable, be applied as optional features of the other aspects. In particular, combining the three aspects provides an integrated modular device which is automatically (motion) activated to trigger an end-to-end procedure of connecting to one of several different types of glucose meter to acquire glucose data and then connecting via one of at least two different communications channels to the Internet to provide that glucose data to a remote server - all without explicit input by the user.

The present technique provides a unifying interoperable platform with a machine-to- machine communications path without the need to change the patient's smart phone applications and platforms to be compatible with different glucose meter models used and each time these devices are used. Further, the new unifying smart device and platform for remote diabetes monitoring and care embeds direct Internet connectivity and a communications model. Machine-to-Machine ( 2M)

communications is an evolving and new enabling communication technology for realising the concept of Internet— of-Things (IOT). These new seamless wireless devices allow communications and connectivity without human interaction or intervention. These device to device communications with little or no human intervention are becoming increasingly the dominant communication platforms in many sectors and applications including healthcare. Various embodiments described herein comprise a smart unifying reconfigurable communication device for connecting different types or glucose meters (and other diabetes related medical devices) to provide a medical sensor device agnostic communications platform using compact and integrated machine-to-machine Internet connectivity and transmission modules.

Brief Description of the Drawings

Embodiments of the present invention will now be described by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings where like parts are provided with corresponding reference numerals and in which:

Figure 1 schematically illustrates a system for smart reconfigurable M2M device communications for diabetes monitoring;

Figure 2 schematically illustrates reconfigurable smart identification and pairing between the communications device and a glucose meter;

Figure 3 schematically illustrates the modules of an integrated M2M device;

Figure 4 schematically illustrates an automated accelerometer-based powering module of the device;

Figure 5 is a schematic flow diagram of the overall operation of the system of Figure 1 ; and

Figure 6 is a schematic flow diagram of a method for establishing communications between the device and a connected glucose meter.

Detailed Description

Figure 1 shows a block diagram of a compact reconfigurable communications device 30. The device 30 is connected, either wirelessly or via a cable to a glucose meter 20, which usually includes a built-in strip reader 10 to measure the glucose content from a drop of blood that is deposited onto that strip (not shown) by a patient 110. The acquired blood sample is then processed inside the glucose meter and converted to representative values of the blood glucose data. Similarly, other biometric data such a B- ketone data which is acquired by some blood glucose meters, can also be captured and processed by the present technique. In the interests of brevity, the following explanations will discuss blood glucose data, but it will be appreciated that this may include other biometric data generated by the blood glucose meter. Most of the available glucose meter devices with communications ports are connectable to the communications device 30 via either serial (RS232) or micro-USB input/output wired port cables. These input/output ports represent the two most widely used communication ports that are available and used in most of the widely blood glucose meters manufactured globally. RS232 is an asynchronous serial communication protocol widely used in computers and digital systems. It is described as asynchronous because there is no separate synchronizing clock signal as is the case with other serial protocols such as SPI and I2C. Instead, the protocol automatically synchronizes itself. Micro USB is a miniaturized version of the

Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface developed for connecting compact and mobile devices such as smartphones, MP3 players, GPS devices, photo printers and digital cameras. Some newer glucose meters are equipped with Bluetooth wireless communications technology in place of these I/O ports. In any case (whether by way of a wired or wireless connection), data representing the glucose content is provided from the glucose meter 20 to the communications device 30.

The communications device 30 has a wireless communications module having an RF (radio-frequency) antenna 70 suitable for communicating using a required communications channel, via which it is able to wirelessly transmit the glucose measurements externally of the device, preferably to a cloud based server 100. In particular, the communications device 30 is able to wirelessly transmit the glucose measurements to a wireless receiver device 80, which may for example be a WiFi router or a communications mast and receiver of a mobile (e.g. 3G or 4G)

telecommunications (cellular) network. In practice, separate communications modules (for example dedicated chips) within the device are used for each of WiFi and cellular communications, but these are embedded on chip within the

communications device. The glucose measurements may then be conveyed to the cloud-based server 100 via an Internet connection 90. The communication device 30 is also able to wirelessly communicate with a smartphone 120 associated by the user 110. The wireless communication between the communications device 30 and the smartphone 120 is preferably via Bluetooth, but may in principle instead be via a WiFi network or the Internet. The smartphone 120 may run a mobile health app which provides visualisation of the glucose measurement for the patient 110, and may in some cases be able to share data with their healthcare professional and their cloud-based servers 100. It will be appreciated that the smartphone app may carry out other mobile health functions. The communications device is thus linked with a unified smart phone application (app) platform, which is used for graphical viewing of the glucose data and any other biometric data, and for patient self-management and diabetes care.

The communications device 30 has three main components (embedded and integrated modules) as shown in Figure 1 , these being a smart reconfigurable pairing adaptor module 40 (explained in detail with reference to Figure 2), an integrated machine-to-machine (M2M) gateway module 50 (explained in detail with reference to Figure 3), and an automated accelerometer powering module 60 (explained in detail with reference to Figure 4). The components discussed above for the

communications device 30 are provided in a single housing including the power supply unit 60 (which is the largest component). Other components of the other modules, also provided inside the housing, are of relatively small size.

Referring to Figure 2, the communications device 30 can be seen to comprise an input/output RS232 to micro USB communication port or socket 150, which is part of the pairing adapter module 40. This port is linked to the patient's 110 glucose meter 20 via either an RS232 cable, or micro-USB cable connected to an input/output communication port or socket of the patient's glucose meter 20. The

communications device 30 has an in-built micro-USB to RS232 adaptor circuit that acquires the data via the programmed central microcontroller from the input/output port configuration of the connected glucometer used by the patient. A digital data sequence representing the value of the acquired glucose level is provided via the port of the glucose meter 20 and sent to the communications device via the input/output port 150. The reconfigurable adaptor module 40 acts as a central processing unit of the communications device 30 and is responsible for all the processing, control, algorithmic identification, interrogation, compare and fetch (I2CF) detection and pairing functions in relation to the connected glucose meters together with node networking communication functions with any Bluetooth enabled glucose meter model or other medical sensor that are used by the diabetic patient (e.g. weight scale or blood pressure devices).

The embedded Bluetooth unit allows it (the communications device) to pair with different types of Bluetooth enabled blood glucose meters for remote Internet data transmission to the Internet or the cloud. The communications device 30 can similarly be programmed to initiate the communication networking and search discovery of any additional Bluetooth enabled devices and sensors present within the vicinity of the patient that request readings from these devices such as blood pressure or weight scale. In this way, the communications device 30 can act as the master node (sensor) connecting the other medical devices as the slave nodes within the vicinity of such available short range communication network. The communications device 30 can be further reconfigured to allow for a low power Bluetooth reconfigurable M2M networking to pair as master network node with other Bluetooth enabled (glucometers) or any additional Bluetooth enabled medical devices. These Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) configuration can be used be for example if necessary to connect the (Device) with other clinically prescribed medical devices required for the diabetic patient for monitoring and management purposes such as blood pressure, Insulin pump, weight and activity sensors etc. that are usually equipped with embedded low power Bluetooth wireless connectivity features. Further, the smart device described in this embodiment with the embedded reconfigurable M2M hub and gateway also enables the node communications with other medical devices (e.g. insulin pump, blood pressure and weight scales) as different diabetes self management and monitoring purposes. Since most of these wireless medical devices are usually equipped with low power Bluetooth capabilities, the communications device allows these devices to act as Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) nodes with (master/slave) communication connectivity with the

communications device. Once paired and connected, these WSN communicating medical 'nodes' can then send their acquired medical data (e.g. blood pressure, weight, insulin data) to remote cloud serve application via the device's M2M communication gateway configuration module for further remote processing and disease management purposes by diabetes specialists. In other words, the device 30 acts as a master node and hub in a wireless master/slave network which acquires data from glucose meters and/or other devices within the network, and sends these on to an external server via the Internet. The wireless master/slave network is in this sense part of the first communications interface. From the perspective of a remote server, there is no need to separately receive and correlate data from a plurality of different devices associated with a given user - instead the remote server receives all biometric data for a given user via a single communications device 30.

The device automatically distinguishes a connected glucose meter and a relevant communication protocol for communicating with that connected glucose meter via an input/output port, then transmits the acquired blood glucose data to a remote cloud server for further processing and viewing.

The smart reconfigurable and pairing adaptor module 40 comprises a microcontroller unit 160 that receives digital sequence data from the I/O port unit 150 representing glucose data measurements. Through an appropriate coding process and

calculations, the microprocessor 160 carried out an I2CF procedure that uses multiple (Identify, Interrogate, Compare and Fetch) processing functionalities

(procedures) for the identification of the connecting device, synchronisation and fetching of the data from the connected glucose meter 20 to the communications device 30 and sends the data sequence to the wireless transmission and interface unit 170.

The memory unit 180 also stores a set of glucose meter unique identification look-up table codes (GUILC) which are used to identify each glucose meter uniquely by its communication protocol. The device automatically identifies this code as part of the (I2CF) identify, interrogate, compare and fetch procedure described herein. The same I2CF approach is used whether the communications link between the communications device 30 and the glucose meter is a wired (e.g. RS232) or wireless (e.g. Bluetooth) link. In the case of the latter, an additional Bluetooth pairing step may need to be carried out (once only) in order to establish the wireless link. This will be the case if the patient's glucose meter is equipped with wireless Bluetooth (some newer types of glucose meters are provided with this wireless connectivity facility). The communications device 30 will detect (pair) such blood glucose meter as a wireless node in a master/slave network, and act as a master node to communicate with the specific glucose meter as a wireless slave node and automatically pair with it to acquire the measured blood glucose data. The communications device 30 then transmits the glucose measurement acquired in this way to the cloud server 100 over the Internet 90 via the M2 gateway module 50.

FIG. 2 shows the detailed diagram system of M2M reconfigurable smart identification adaptor device. As explained above, the device 30 comprises three embedded and integrated modules: the 'reconfigurable smart identification and pairing adaptor module 40, the 'M2M gateway module' 50 and the 'automated accelerometer based device powering' module. The reconfigurability adaptor module 40 act as the central processing unit of the device and is responsible for all the processing, control, detection and pairing functions of the user glucose meters used together with the node networking communications functions with any Bluetooth enabled glucose meter or other medical sensor also Bluetooth enabled that are used by the diabetic patient such as weight scale or blood pressure devices. The M2M gateway module 50 consist of two embedded M2M modules of WiFi and Cellular units that provides the 2M wireless communications and the Internet transmission and based on the availability of either WiFi (Hotspot) or cellular wireless communication networks and to trigger the appropriate data transmission and the Internet connectivity mode by the communications device 30. The WiFi module can generally be expected to be a separate chip from the cellular M2M module.

In the M2M architecture shown in Fig. 2 the data once communicated either via WiFi or cellular communication channels (these are both IP based) to the cloud platform provides an IOT (Internet of Things) application space (in this case the disease management system) that links to hospital servers and sends the educational or alerting data back to the patient, for example to his smartphone or tablet via the smartphone app. Generally, direct communication between the communications device 30 and the user's smartphone does not occur. Instead, the communications device 30 sends biometric data to the remote server via the available Internet channel in the manner described above, and the smartphone then obtains the biometric data and/or any other data derived therefrom, via the remote server. It will be appreciated though that the user's smartphone may be used as a personal wireless hotspot to enable the communications device 30 to connect to the Internet using a WiFi rather than cellular connection.

Referring to Figure 3, the integrated Machine-to-Machine (M2M) gateway module 50 is shown and can be seen to comprise two embedded communication modules of WiFi 190 and Cellular (LTE) 200 circuits that provide the M2M communications channel and the Internet link based on the availability of either WiFi (Hotspot) or cellular wireless communication channel to the Internet (Cloud). These channels can be detected and triggered to provide the available mobile data transmission mode and the Internet connectivity by the communications device 30. In particular, the measured medical or glucose data identified by the device are sent wirelessly via whichever of the M2M communication protocol (WiFi or Celluar) wireless channels are available at the time and locality of the blood glucose data reading in the vicinity of the patient. For example, in a home environment a WiFi hub may be available, or away from the home/on the move an appropriate LTE/4G cellular channel may be the only option to communicate via the Internet. These gateway communication modules are embedded within the circuitry of the communications device 30. They reconfigure and link the device 30 for the Internet data connectivity and transmission to the remote cloud or server, in dependence on availability. Communication priority is allocated to the (WiFi) hotspot network as a first preference, should this be available. Only in the case that a WiFi connection is not available for use will the communications device 30 instead use the cellular communication channel. A remote cloud based application server may then process the transmitted biometric data and send back the required monitoring and viewing information to the smart phone or tablet device of the patient via a smart unifying application (App) developed for this purpose. This data may also be sent to and accessed by the healthcare providers (HCP) for further viewing and feedback and advice if required. The communications device 30 therefore provides an embedded gateway which is used to transmit the acquired BG data over the Internet to a remote cloud server hosting server.

It will be understood that the communications device 30 serves to identify a connected glucose meter, and effectively convert a non-wireless glucose meter (or at least a glucose meter which requires a dedicated separate wireless communications device or smartphone to upload glucose measurements to a remote server) to a wireless glucose meter that will then communicate with either the Wi-Fi hub or the cellular network (M2M network domain) to upload glucose measurements to the remote server.

Various protocols for communicating data via the Internet are known. One protocol is MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport). This is a Machine-to-Machine protocol which permits Internet of Things devices to communicate with other devices. Another protocol is HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol), which is commonly used for communicating data on the Internet.

Referring to Figure 4, the automated accelerometer based device powering and activation module 60 can be seen to comprise a battery supply (or battery supply or charging unit compartment containing a battery) 130 together with an embedded accelerometer 140 that automatically turns on (powers) and turns off (powers down) the communications device 30. It will be appreciated that, instead of an

accelerometer, other types of motion sensor, such as a piezoelectric sensor for sensing vibration, could be used. In particular, the accelerometer 140 detects any displacement or movement of the communications device 30 by the patient (which would be expected during a blood glucose meter measurement procedure), and powers on the communications device 30 in response to this detection, for example by connecting the battery 140 to the circuitry of the communications device 30. The activation module 60 also allows the communications device 30 to revert to a sleep/idle mode when the blood glucose measurement procedures are completed. In this case, the communications device 30 may be in a static condition following the completion of the blood glucose measurement. This negates the need for any powering and switching the device by the patient when in use or not in use. The accelerometer circuitry and chipset powers the communications device 30 using the motion detection by the patient when taking the glucose readings and allows the automatic power activation of the device to start the pairing and connection process with the specific glucose meter used by the patient to download the glucose data from the device to the patient's own smart phone or tablet. Further, this

configuration allows for additional power saving or increase in the length of intervals between being required to recharge the battery by entering a sleep (static) mode after a predetermined period of time has lapsed since one or both of (a) the communications device 30 last moved, and (b) the communications device 30 was activated.

For example, the powering module 60 may allow the device to revert back to the sleep mode on the idle (static) condition when the blood glucose measurement procedures are completed and the device is idle after elapse of 20 second duration. This can provide both power saving of the modules of the communications device and remove the need of any human on-off powering of the communications device and the usage of a manual power activation switch each time it is required to be activated for the blood glucose data measurement and transmission.

One simple implementation of this is for movement of the device (at any time) to cause the accelerometer circuitry 140 to activate (power up) the communications device 30, and for the device to remain on for a predetermined period of time following activation. The predetermined period of time should be sufficient for the patient to be able to set up the glucose meter 20, plug it into the communications device 30 (in the case that the glucose meter 20 does not have a wireless

capability), obtain a blood sample on a strip 10, insert the strip 10 into the glucose meter, and for the glucose meter to be able to measure the glucose level of the sample, be paired with the communications device 30 (by way of the I2CF procedure described elsewhere), communicate the measurement data to the communications device 30, and for the communications device 30 to be able establish a

communications session (for example via WiFi or 3G/4G) to transmit the

measurement data via the specific Internet protocol. It will be appreciated that certain of these steps can be carried out in parallel. In any case, a period of 10 to 20 minutes, and preferably 15 minutes, has been found to be adequate to ensure that these steps can be completed. The module 60 removes the need for any human intervention to switch the communications device 30 on and off and may save battery power since the device will not be left in an on state for extended periods of time. It will be appreciated that, due to the nature of the use of the device 30, at the time of its use it is likely to be moved resulting in its activation, while at times when it is not being used, it can generally be expected to be stationary. Referring to Figure 5, a flow diagram describes the main process. At a step S1 , the user (patient) connects the communications device 30 to a glucose meter 20 using a serial cable connecting the input/output port of the glucose meter 20 to the

communications device 30 input port as described above. This connection process need only be carried out once by the user. In the alternative case of a Bluetooth enabled glucose meter, the glucose meter may simply be switched on and the glucose meter 20 and communications device 30 placed in the vicinity of each other. At a step S2, the communications device 30 is automatically activated and powered by the displacement and the wake-up of the power activation module 60 by the accelerometer unit 140. At a step S3, the communications device 30 automatically establishes the serial communications link or the Bluetooth pairing process with the Bluetooth enabled blood glucose meter connection. In the case of a Bluetooth glucose meter, the Bluetooth pairing is established using the Device 30 Bluetooth module 170 to enable Bluetooth connectivity with glucose meters and/or with other devices equipped with Bluetooth wireless connections. Otherwise, for non-Bluetooth enabled glucose meters the communication link is established and detected by the serial port connectivity 150 linking the communications device 30 with the blood glucose meter serial communication port. At a step S4, it is determined whether a glucose meter and/or other device is connected via a serial interface or Bluetooth (and if Bluetooth, paired). If it has not, the process returns to the step S3. The steps S3 and S4 may be repeated, either periodically or continuously, until the

communications device 30 switches itself off or a valid connection is detected. If at the step S4 it is determined that a glucose meter has been connected, and in particular once the initial pairing process is established between the communications device 30 and the blood glucose meter 20, an (I2CF) (Identify, Interrogate, Compare and Fetch) procedure is triggered at a step S5 to automatically identify the

connected glucose meter, interrogate, compare and fetch the blood glucose

(biometric) data from the glucose meter 20 to the communications device 30. This process is described in detail in the flow diagram of Figure 6, explained below.

Continuing with Figure 5, at a step S6, it is determined if the I2CF procedure is complete and that the biometric (glucose) measurement data has been acquired and stored at the communications device 30. if not, the process waits until the I2CF procedure is complete. If the I2CF process is complete, the glucose data is ready for remote transmission. At a step S7, once the data has been fetched by the communications device 30, snooping for an available Internet transmission channel (WiFi or cellular) is initiated by the communications device 30. Since WiFi is the preferred transmission channel, at a step S8 the communications device 30 snoops for WiFi hotspots, seeking to detect an available WiFi transmission hotspot or hub. If a WiFi channel is detected, then at a step S9 the WiFi gateway module 190 is activated and used to transmit the acquired data onto the internet via the detected WiFi connection. It will be

appreciated that in practice this process may require the WiFi connection to have been set up for use with the communications device 30. This may be achieved as a function of the smartphone app described above. For example, a patient may have set up the communications device 30 in advance (by entering passwords or network keys) to be able to access WiFi hotspots at his or her own home, place of work, family and friends houses, gym or favourite restaurants for example. Once the communications device 30 has been set up in this way, access to such hotspots may be automatic with no user input being required. If at the step S8 no WiFi channel is detected then at a step S10 the communications device 30 snoops for a cellular channel. If a cellular channel is detected at the step S10, the cellular gateway module 200 is activated at a step S1 1 , to send the acquired data via the available cellular communication M2M protocol at a step S12. At a step S13, it is determined whether the Internet transmission of the acquired data has been successfully completed and acknowledged by the communications device 30. If so, the communications device 30 reverts back to the sleep-mode at a step S14, and waits for the next blood glucose data reading by the user and the next wake-up for the process to be repeated (that is, the process returns to the step S1 ). If it is

determined at the step S13 that transmission has been unsuccessful, the procedure returns to the step S12 to attempt retransmission.

From Figure 5, it will be understood that the motion activation of the communications device 30 not only causes the device to be powered on, but also triggers the processes of Figures 5 and 6 (that is, connecting to a glucose meter and acquiring glucose data, and connecting to the Internet and transmitting the glucose data remotely), since no human intervention is required for these processes to be initiated. Figure 6 shows the I2CF (Identify-lnterrogate-Compare-Fetch) procedure (corresponding to the step S6 of Figure 5) used for the identification, interrogation and data synchronisation and the communication connectivity between the

communications device 30 and the connected glucose meter 20. This procedure fetches the acquired blood glucose data from the specific connected glucose meter 20 connected to the communications device 30. The process starts at a step U1 , when the user glucose meter is successfully connected/paired to the

communications device (that is, the step S4 of Figure 5). At a step U2, in an identification stage the communications device 30 initialises (for example loads from memory or other storage medium) a glucometer table which contains a set of entries each defining a glucose meter type and a corresponding identification test message. In particular, all types of glucose meter with which the communications device is able to operate have an entry in the table. The identification test message of a particular glucometer type may be any message defined in a protocol for communicating with the glucometer type which, when received by a glucometer of that type, will cause the glucometer to reply with an expected (and known, or predetermined) response message. For example, a disconnect command could be used as an identification test message. It will be understood that both the interrogation test message (that is, the message used to elicit a response from the glucose meter) and the response message itself, are propriety protocols of the manufacturers of each glucose meter. In preparation for an interrogation stage, at a step U3 an incremental pointer Ni is set in the table for a first interrogation message between the communications device 30 and the connected glucose meter.

At a step U4 the Interrogation mode begins with the transmission (via the

connections made at the step S3) of a first protocol data test interrogation message corresponding to the entry in the table indicated by the initial pointer Ni. The protocol data test interrogation messages are used to carry out the interrogation of the connected glucose meter for protocol message codes allocated and associated uniquely with each glucose meter 20. At a step U5, the communications device 30 waits for a response message from the glucometer 20. Any such response

messages are detected and identified automatically by the communications device 30. The connected glucose meter 20 can be expected to respond to a compatible interrogation message with an expected (known) reply, and to either respond with an error or unexpected reply, or not respond at all, to a non-compatible interrogation message. If a response message is received, at a step U6 the communications device 30 reads the identified glucometer message from the look-up table message content, and then compares the glucometer response message with the test message at a step U7 to determine if there is a match. In particular, each type of possible connected glucose meter is identified by a signature matching sequence code (GUIC). This code is identified by the communications device 30 from the response message and compared with a set of codes in a look-up table in the memory module 180 of the device 30. The look-up table may be either be an additional column in the table described above which contains the set of

interrogation test messages, or a separate table. In any case, these signature matching sequence codes are set-up as standards within the relevant

communication protocol messages of each glucose meter. That is, they are predetermined. Once the correct code is sent by the glucose meter and is successfully matched against an expected data sequence/message stored in the look-up table, the identification process is completed. In particular, the response from the connected glucose meter 20 to each protocol data test interrogation messages need to be identified by the communications device 30 and to be successfully synchronised with the protocol data test interrogation message at a step U8, resulting in the connected glucometer being identified from the look-up table and the communications device 30 being ready to acquire measurement data from the glucometer. If at the step U5 a response message is not received, or if at the step U7 a received response message does not match the interrogation message, the process moves on to a step U9, where a test message table pointer for a new message code sequence is decremented to select a new interrogation message from the table. At a step U10, it is determined if the decrementing of the test message table pointer results in the end of the table of test messages. If so, the interrogation process ends (unsuccessfully) at a step U11. If the decrementing results in a new interrogation message being selected, the process returns to the step U4 where the new interrogation message is transmitted to the connected glucometer. A plurality of communication protocol data test interrogation messages are selected and transmitted in this way, corresponding to a respective plurality of glucose meter types. As discussed, each interrogation message is programmed (stored) within the communications device 30 microcontroller and memory module 180. The sequence of these messages are set by the programmable pointer counter (N) that points in turn to each interrogation message allocated for each glucose meter 20 and identified by the content of each communication protocol.

In the Compare mode of the steps U7 and U8, if the earlier test messages sent back from the glucose meter already interrogated do not match the sequence message sent earlier by the communications device 30, this indicates that the connected glucose meter 20 has not been identified successfully with that the communications device 30 and that the communications device 30 is not yet ready for acquiring the biometric data successfully. In this case the memory pointer (N) is decremented and the process is repeated until the matching sequence is found, as described above. Once this mode is completed successfully, the memory pointer (N) programmed within microcontroller and memory module 180 is then decremented to point out to fetch the next test message allocated for the next protocol message identified for the next glucose meter type. This comparison sequence loop is repeated and until the correct sequence of the matching messages is found and the protocol

synchronisation process is successfully completed.

Once the Compare process is completed, the communications device 30 is then ready to Fetch, at a step U12, the acquired biometric (blood glucose) data (and associated time signature/stamp) acquired via the established communication protocol data messages of the glucose meter. At a step U13, it is determined whether the acquisition of the biometric data is complete. If not, the fetch process of the step U12 continues. When the BG data transfer is completed the

communications device 30, is ready for the Internet transmission mode via the M2M gateway module 50 as described earlier in relation to Figure 5, and the process therefore progresses to the step S7 of Figure 5.

In some embodiments, prior to the step U2, the communications device may initially send an interrogation test message corresponding to the type of glucose meter to which the communications device had been connected at the time it was switched off. There is a high probability that a particular user (associated with the

communications device) will repeatedly use the same glucose meter, and so attempting to connect to that type of glucose meter first as an initial step avoids the need to carry out the I2CF procedure in some cases, and therefore results in the communications device being able to communicate with the glucose meter more quickly and also save battery power.

It will be appreciated that the communications device 30 should preferably only send new glucose measurements (and other biometric data) to the remote server. In order to achieve this, when the communications device 30 reads the glucose measurements from the glucose meter, it reads a time stamp associated with those measurements and compares it with a time stamp retrieved from the remote server which indicates a most recent glucose measurement (for that patient) which is stored at the remote server. If the time stamp associated with the glucose measurements obtained from the glucose meter corresponds to or predates the time stamp retrieved from the remote server, the glucose measurements are not transmitted to the remote server.