Ironically enough, it was while Josh Juster was waiting at the eye doctor when he started to see things clearly.
Josh is/was/probably always will be obsessed with knowing his blood sugar number at all times, regardless of where he is. The “a-ha moment” came while Josh was staring at his Apple Watch in the waiting room. It dawned on him that if he created a calendar event linked to his continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) data, he could get readings on his wrist every five minutes.
“I get most stressed when I don’t know my number,” said Josh, 40. “I wanted to solve that. I realized how important and how powerful it could be to have your readings all of the time. The question was ‘How?’ How do you get your readings everywhere?”
With undergraduate and graduate degrees from M.I.T., plus a wealth of experience working for some of the most notable tech companies in the world, Josh set out to answer his own question. He tinkered. He tested. And his newly discovered calendar trick turned out to be the foundation for his startup, Sugarmate Inc., and the Sugarmate™ app.
The Sugarmate app is a fully developed app that gives people living with type 1 diabetes, or their caregivers, alerts and intuitive data visualization based on CGM. The Sugarmate app was so successful that Tandem Diabetes Care quickly recognized its potential and acquired Sugarmate in June of 2020. Josh, in his new role with Tandem, serves as the vice president of Sugarmate.
Not only does the Sugarmate app provide a wide range of data visualization tools to streamline diabetes management, but it also has customizable alerts — including phone calls in ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode — and integration with smart-device applications.
The evolution of diabetes treatment has always interested Josh. In college, he interned at a lab that was working to develop a cure. And while that lab proved unsuccessful, he continued to stay up on the current trends.
“I would read the latest research and I always liked to know what was happening,” said Josh, who is the father of a 3-year-old son with another on the way. “When I was diagnosed at 12, I wasn’t immediately thinking about a career in the field. But as I got older, I started asking myself some questions. ‘What would someone living with type 1 diabetes want?’ I started drawing on my personal experience.”
The Sugarmate app wasn't Josh’s first foray into app development. He’s sold startups and developed several other successful apps, but the Sugarmate app was the only one that had a strong personal connection.
“Having access to glucose readings all of the time inspired me to keep building,” he said. “I thought it would be cool to see where I could take it and soon I was dedicating 100 percent of my time to making the Sugarmate app better.”
The partnership between Tandem Diabetes Care and Sugarmate is a logical one. Both companies offer ground-breaking tools designed to improve the lives of people living with diabetes. Josh knows this firsthand from using his t:slim X2™ insulin pump with Control-IQ® technology.
“Control-IQ technology was game-changing for me,” Josh said. “It was the reason I went back on a pump. I know the Sugarmate app and Control-IQ technology are helping me as I monitor my sugar levels (with a Dexcom CGM sensor). It’s an extra layer of assurance and peace of mind.”
Our thanks to Josh for sharing the origin story of the Sugarmate app and for working to improve the lives of people with diabetes. You can find out more about the Sugarmate app here.
From time to time, we may pass along suggestions, tips, or information about other Tandem insulin pump user experiences or approaches to the management of diabetes. Please note, however, individual symptoms, situations, circumstances, and results may vary. Please consult your physician or qualified healthcare provider regarding your condition and appropriate medical treatment. Please read the Important Safety Information before using a Tandem Diabetes Care product.
Responsible Use Control-IQ Technology
Even with advanced systems such as the t:slim X2 insulin pump with Control-IQ technology, users are still responsible for actively managing their diabetes. Control-IQ technology does not prevent all high and low blood glucose events. The system is designed to help reduce glucose variability, but it requires that users accurately input information, such as meals and periods of sleep or exercise. Control-IQ technology will not function as intended unless all system components, including CGM, infusion sets and pump cartridges, are used as instructed. Importantly, the system cannot adjust insulin dosing if the pump is not receiving CGM readings. Since there are situations and emergencies that the system may not be capable of identifying or addressing, users should always pay attention to their symptoms and treat accordingly.