Low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) are one of the most dangerous complications of diabetes and pose high risk during cognitively demanding tasks requiring complex motor skills, such as driving a car. The utility of current tools to detect hypoglycemia is limited by diagnostic delay, invasiveness, low availability, and high costs. A recent study published in the journal NEJM AI provides a novel way to detect hypoglycemia during driving. The research was the work of LMU scientists in collaboration with colleagues from the University Hospital of Bern (Inselspital), ETH Zurich, and the University of St. Gallen.
In their study, the researchers collected data from 30 diabetics as they drove a real car. For each patient, data was recorded once during a state with normal blood sugar levels and once during a hypoglycemic state. To this end, each patient was deliberately put into a hypoglycemic state by medical professionals present in the car. The collected data comprised driving signals such as car speed and head/gaze motion data – for example, the speed of eye movements.