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Encouraging better diabetes management through wearable technology

The latest insights from Diabetes UK show that over 4.9 million people are currently living with diabetes in the UK, with rates almost doubling in the last 15 years. At the current prevalence rates, the NHS spends around £10 billion on average each year in managing and treating the condition, which will also increase alongside…

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The latest insights from Diabetes UK show that over 4.9 million people are currently living with diabetes in the UK, with rates almost doubling in the last 15 years. At the current prevalence rates, the NHS spends around £10 billion on average each year in managing and treating the condition, which will also increase alongside growing rates. However, research consistently shows that combined lifestyle interventions can be effective in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes by ~50%.

The pandemic has significantly impacted patient access to healthcare and millions of patients with diabetes have been unable to get regular health checks with their healthcare team. With many GP appointments still being held remotely, wearable devices are increasingly being piloted to help people monitor long-term health conditions and, as a result, the value of wearable devices to help people better manage such conditions is becoming increasingly recognised.

Focusing on holistic health

In November, people in the UK and particularly those living with diabetes, will be able to use a new blood glucose logging tool from Fitbit. They will be able to track their glucose levels by manually logging them throughout the day. Users can then view those levels right in the app alongside other metrics from Fitbit such as physical activity, sleep and their logged nutrition, to help better manage their holistic health and wellness all in one place. Within the app, users will be able to set personalized ranges so they can see when they are outside their target range to better identify important changes. They can also receive reminders to log their glucose levels so they can view their trends over time.

Fitbit has a multi-year partnership with Diabetes UK to help raise awareness of the condition and help educate people on the importance of getting to know their body and how it works. This is in order to encourage behavior changes that may help lessen the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and help people to understand and manage their diabetes, in addition to benefiting overall health and wellbeing.

“We want to help empower people with cardiometabolic conditions such as diabetes so they can better manage their health and wellbeing,” says Nicola Maxwell, head of Fitbit Health Solutions in EMEA. “We hope that by making the blood glucose logging feature available through our app, it will help provide accessibility for more people. We are passionate that our work with Diabetes UK will continue to raise awareness for and help improve the health of those living with diabetes.”

Useful tools and technology

The increasing rates of diabetes, coupled with increasing focus on patient self-management, highlights the need for tools and technology to help people with diabetes better manage their condition.

“Often when people are diagnosed with diabetes, they feel overwhelmed and in reality have to spend most of the time self-managing their condition,” says Emma Elvin, Senior Clinical Advisor at Diabetes UK. “By logging their blood glucose levels in the Fitbit app, users can see what types of lifestyle factors affect their diabetes and how their blood sugar fluctuates. Seeing all their trends in one place can help people to gain back control. This can give them a greater sense of control and help them to begin to make small changes to manage their diabetes more effectively.

  • The Blood Glucose feature is not a replacement for medical advice and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. It is intended to simply help you monitor and keep track of your information. You should talk to your healthcare provider for more guidance on blood glucose management.
  • This feature is rolling out to all UK users, English only in November.

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An update on our Privacy Sandbox commitments

For further background on this topic, please see our blog from June.Since we announced our Privacy Sandbox commitments earlier this year, we have continued to work with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to address feedback that was raised as part of its public consultation process. We have also continued to update and seek…

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For further background on this topic, please see our blog from June.

Since we announced our Privacy Sandbox commitments earlier this year, we have continued to work with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to address feedback that was raised as part of its public consultation process. We have also continued to update and seek feedback from the market and the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on our proposals.

We are determined to ensure that the Privacy Sandbox is developed in a way that works for the entire ecosystem and, as part of this process, we have now offered revised commitments, which can be found in full on the CMA’s website.

These revisions underline our commitment to ensuring that the changes we make in Chrome will apply in the same way to Google’s ad tech products as to any third party, and that the Privacy Sandbox APIs will be designed, developed and implemented with regulatory oversight and input from the CMA and the ICO. We also support the objectives set out yesterday in the ICO’s Opinion on Data protection and privacy expectations for online advertising proposals, including the importance of supporting and developing privacy-safe advertising tools that protect people’s privacy and prevent covert tracking.

The revised commitments incorporate a number of changes including:

  1. Monitoring and reporting. We have offered to appoint an independent Monitoring Trustee who will have the access and technical expertise needed to ensure compliance.
  2. Testing and consultation. We have offered the CMA more extensive testing commitments, along with a more transparent process to take market feedback on the Privacy Sandbox proposals.
  3. Further clarity on our use of data. We are underscoring our commitment not to use Google first-party personal data to track users for targeting and measurement of ads shown on non-Google websites. Our commitments would also restrict the use of Chrome browsing history and Analytics data to do this on Google or non-Google websites.

If the CMA accepts these commitments, we will apply them globally.

We continue to appreciate the thoughtful approach and engagement from the CMA and ICO as we develop our Privacy Sandbox proposals. We welcome, and will carefully consider, any comments that people provide during the consultation process.

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New EU political ads law is a step in the right direction

Having access to the right information matters. During a democratic election, it matters more than ever. High-quality information helps people make informed decisions when voting and counteracts abuse by bad actors. Through programs like security training for campaigns, information about polling places and transparency for political ads, Google is committed to helping support the integrity…

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Having access to the right information matters. During a democratic election, it matters more than ever. High-quality information helps people make informed decisions when voting and counteracts abuse by bad actors. Through programs like security training for campaigns, information about polling places and transparency for political ads, Google is committed to helping support the integrity of democratic processes around the world.

Political advertising is an important component of democratic elections — candidates use ads to raise awareness, share information and engage potential voters. Over the last few years, Google has proactively increased transparency around election advertising: we updated our ads policies to require election advertisers to verify their identities and show who’s paying for an ad. We also introduced transparency reporting for online election ads in Europe as well as in the US and other countries around the world, providing a range of data that goes well beyond what’s typically available for TV, radio or print ads.

We have also made real changes to how election advertising works. In 2020, we implemented industry-leading restrictions to limit election ads’ audience targeting to age, gender and general location (at the postal code level), similar to categories candidates would use in deciding where to run ads on TV shows or in print. That same year, we started rolling out identity verification and disclosures for all advertisers, providing even wider transparency about ad sponsors. These improvements, and more, are part of a larger focus on political advertising that helped us navigate elections in the European Union, the United States, India (the largest democratic election in history) and other leading countries.

Google was one of the original signatories of the EU Code of Practice on Disinformation, which has led to constructive actions and change between the industry, policymakers and the expert community on the challenges of addressing disinformation. The Code laid out a model for voluntary action, facilitating work with policymakers on new transparency reporting on political advertising and helping users, governments and academics better understand how online election ads work.

We share the Commission’s goal of increasing the harmonization of Europe’s transparency rules for political advertising and we support today’s introduction of legislation. As we expand our own efforts, we look forward to engaging with the Commission on how best to meet the goals laid out by the Democracy Action Plan and Digital Services Act. This is a complex field, requiring a balance between minimizing misinformation while protecting legitimate political expression. The Commission’s proposal is an important and welcome step and as the European Council and Parliament review it, we offer a few observations based on our experiences over recent election cycles.

  • Clear definitions for ‘political’ ads: It’s critical that the law clarifies which actors and what types of content are subject to the obligations regarding political advertising, giving clear examples of what would or would not be in scope. Without clear definitions, different companies will adopt inconsistent and conflicting policies, making for confusion for advertisers and undermining transparency for citizens. The current text could also inadvertently impact a wider range of ads than intended — for example, sweeping in ads from NGOs on issues of public concern or from private citizens speaking out about social questions.
  • Clear responsibilities for platforms and advertisers: Protecting elections is a shared responsibility and we all need to play our part to be more transparent. Advertisers are in the best position to validate their identity and best understand the nature and context of their ads. They play a critical role in providing accurate information and (as they do with other media like television) ensuring that their content complies with applicable laws. Advertiser “self-declaration” — whereby political advertisers verify their identities and declare when they are running political ads — would have advertisers due their share to contribute to transparency, making the law work better in practice.
  • Flexibility and dialogue: This is a dynamic and fast moving environment and we have seen a lot of changes to both political ads and governing regulations. Continuing discussions with stakeholders will help regulation react to changing contexts or emerging trends that might affect definitions, regulatory provisions or enforcement.

Elections are a fundamental part of democracy, and new regulations can help keep elections open, transparent and accountable. Legal certainty in those regulations will help candidates, campaigns, advertisers, publishers and platforms understand the precise scope of covered advertising and the specific obligations of each actor. In the coming months we look forward to sharing our experiences with the different institutions and bodies working to advance these important topics.

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How making lists became this entrepreneur’s brand

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel“I don’t think any of us are coming up with anything new — it’s all how you put your own personal spin on the thing,” says Saya. So while her list concepts might not be a novel idea, her whimsical approach — where lists for home office equipment recommendations…

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You don’t have to reinvent the wheel

“I don’t think any of us are coming up with anything new — it’s all how you put your own personal spin on the thing,” says Saya. So while her list concepts might not be a novel idea, her whimsical approach — where lists for home office equipment recommendations and her own pet peeves are on the same page — is.

Lists also help busy people make sense of an overwhelming amount of information. “People are hungry for curators,” she points out. “That’s why lists are so popular. They’re easy to share, they’re easy to consume.”

Lists also align with her overall ethos for Mac & Cheese Productions℠. “One of my favorite things is helping people to be more efficient and create systems,” she says. “The list format lends itself to be productive and efficient and good at time management.”

Be authentic — but it’s OK to make money too

Trustworthy referrals and recommendations have been a huge part of Saya’s success. “People know you’re doing it because you actually love the product or the person,” she says, explaining she has never received money from anyone that she’s put on her service provider list or other recommendation lists. Instead, it’s a “win-win” that spreads goodwill and website traffic all around, and can eventually result in opportunities and income, if not always directly or immediately.

That said, she’s unapologetic about taking a piece of the pie through affiliate marketing and her paid marketing services, as long as the products and services meet her requirements. “You just have to share that upfront,” she says.

Use lists to expand your network and draw visitors

Saya uses lists strategically to grow her network and draw more visitors to her site. “I’m spending all this time curating and creating for free, but to get that information, you need to go to my website, instead of me just giving you the information,” she points out.

Tying lists to holidays, seasons or other events can also forge connections and drive engagement. For example, while most of her lists are evergreen, Saya also offers an annual gift guide where she tags the businesses’ or individuals’ Instagram accounts — which helps expand her reach. “I’m always thinking, how can you make what you create easy to share?” she says.

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