Hey, you must have heard that a new iPhone is out!
Yep, Apple's iPhone 7 made big headlines this month -- particularly with the controversial hardware change in favor of a "Lightning" charging port and Bluetooth audio.
And the new that recently hit the U.S. market now becomes officially the only diabetes device that plugs into your smartphone for blood sugar testing and is compatible with this latest iPhone generation.
You may remember that once upon a time (six whole years ago) the Sanofi iBGStar was also a plug-in meter, but that product was essentially discontinued after Apple changed its port with the iPhone 5 -- meaning Dario is now one-of-a-kind currently on the market.
Dario has actually been available in the U.S. since March 2016, but the Israel-based manufacturers (who changed their name from in July) were ready for the update to the iPhone 7 model. Within days of Apple's launch, they that they've filed for FDA approval of Lightning connector compatibility, and the company's hoping for a quick turnover since the port change is the only modification being made at this time.
Who's Dario and What's Lightning?
Dario is a sleek "all-in-one" glucoe monitoring system that's about the size of a cigarette lighter and sports a built-in lancet fingerpoker and cartridge of 25 test strips. The actual meter is a little black square with connector port, that you plug directly into an iPhone or tablet whenever you want to view and work with your data. We published a review on the Dario earlier in the year.
Lightning is proprietary connector technology created by Apple in 2012 (they actually had to purchase the "Lightning" trademark in Europe !) Using just 8 pins, Lightning is significantly more compact than Apple's previous 30-pin dock connector and can be inserted with either side facing up. But without an adapter, it is incompatible with cables and peripherals designed for its predecessor.
Dario being "iPhone 7-ready" means that you can use either the Apple-provided adapter to plug in your Dario meter, or soon you can buy a new Dario model that will be outfitted with the Lightning connector.
Here's what the new looks like:
And plugged into the iPhone...
For video enthusiasts, here's a quick "how to" on using the new Dario connector:
While details on cost and availability haven't been finalized, Dario tells us they likely won't change the current $29.99 pricepoint for the all-inclusive meter with lancets and strips.
Future-Ready Glucose Tech
This port change for the iPhone has been rumored for years, and many thought it could happen back when the iPhone 6 was released in 2014, but that didn't occur. Anticipating this, Dario has been working on its adapter change in the background, ready to announce when Apple finally pulled the trigger -- because it didn't want to face the same fate as the iBGstar when Apple changed to a 30-prong port and the iBGStar wasn't compatible.
"We wanted to be the first to show we're supporting this, and making it easy for people to keep using Dario as soon as they get the newest iPhone," says Scott Scolnick, a longtime type 1 himself who works as Dario's Director of Professional and Clinical Sales in the U.S. "In general, we see this as being a very short window with regulators since we're just changing the interface, and because we were ready, we think this shows our commitment to the patient experience."
Dario actually released a new update to its mobile app over the summer, although that didn't require FDA scrutiny. Their Version 3.2 offers a new data analysis feature in which the "spaghetti graphs" of glucose data automatically fill in based on results. There's also a new slide rule function for calculations, and you can tap on a number for a keypad to display for easier data entry.
In the coming months, Dario plans to launch another update with additional new features. And Scolnick tells us Android compatibility is coming soon too, as they've completed field user validation and are hoping to submit that for FDA approval by year's end.
Down the road, Dario plans to create predictive and "Artificial Intelligence-like algorithms" to offer more advanced data and an improved experience for people with diabetes.
Scolnick says they hope by late 2017 to have "a scalable solution that will not just be Bluetooth, not just a lightning jack, but using Dario as the future platform for... taking this to the next level."
Whoa -- a bit cryptic, for sure, but we're intrigued and can't wait to see what comes next from Dario!