PEPPER, short for Patient Empowerment through Predictive PERsonalised decision support, tries to tackle the problem, that many diabetes patients need to rely on complex calculations and human memory to estimate their insulin doses, which they must do several times a day. This is an enormous mental burden and poor management can lead to additional health problems.
PEPPER uses portable technology together with artificial intelligence and mathematical modelling, to give people freedom from daily decision-making. The project is creating a tool that makes predictions based on real-time data, gathered from unobtrusive, wearable devices, in order to empower individuals to manage their condition more easily. The resulting application has potential benefit to society by improving health outcomes and thereby reducing costs.
Currently there is no decision support system for insulin dosing on the market that adapts itself based on real-time activity data and blood glucose data. The PEPPER project addresses this by providing personalised decision support on two alternative mobile platforms: one based on a smartphone, and another via the handset of a minimally obtrusive patch pump, which is about the size of a tic-tac box. Users of the system also wear a fitness band and a continuous glucose monitor, which is around the size of a small USB stick. Additional information, such as carbohydrate consumption and alcohol intake, can be added manually on the handset. The PEPPER system is also designed to offer improvement in interactions between individuals and health professionals via a secure, cloud-based server.