Medtronic and Ford Motor Company are partnering to create a system that would allow a medical device for diabetics to communicate with a Ford vehicle.
The product builds on an existing Medtronic device for monitoring blood sugar levels. Quarter-sized sensors attached to a diabetic's torso relay information to an insulin pump, which dispenses insulin as needed. The in-car product would transmit the glucose levels via Bluetooth to a vehicle's dashboard, providing patients another way to address their health needs immediately.
This is Medtronic's first and only such relationship with an automaker.
James Dallas, senior vice president of Quality and Operations at Medtronic, said the partnership with Ford is part of an overall effort to combat chronic disease.
"We know we have to do three things: extend the reach, improve the outcomes, and lower the cost," Dallas said. "We see connectivity being a key enabler in making it happen."
Dallas said the product is in the research phase and a launch date has not yet been set.
Consumer Reports said in January that Ford's in-car connectivity system creates a "complicated distraction while driving." A Medtronic spokesman said he expects the Ford product will evolve and become easier to use.