Wearable Tech Helps Diabetics Measure Glucose Levels As Google Plans Needle-Free Method To Test Blood
Google has filed a patent for a smartwatch that can monitor blood sugar levels throughout the day. If the design proves to be sound, the watch could reduce or eliminate the need for needle-based daily blood testing and help people with diabetes maintain almost minute-by-minute control over their blood sugar levels.
According to the patent description, Google’s proposed system skips the traditional syrettes and instead draws blood with a vacuum tube. The tube uses compressed gas to fire a microparticle into the user’s skin and then applies negative pressure to suck up a small sample that can be taken to a lab or tested on-site.
After the blood draw, the strip can be inserted into Google’s smartwatch, which determines blood glucose levels and records the information on an app. Data from the test can be stored on the watch, or it can be transmitted to a doctor’s office via Google’s servers.
According to the American Diabetes Association, regular blood draws are the key component in an effective monitoring and treatment regimen for people with diabetes. Dispensing with the cumbersome needles and test strips currently in use, conceivably makes regular testing easier and more likely to be done on schedule.
People with diabetes who test every day usually record their levels in a paper register that’s provided by the doctor. These journals are vulnerable to mistakes in recording and skipped entries, which reduce their use as monitoring tools. If Google’s smartwatch system becomes a reality, automation and wireless technology promise to eliminate most of the guesswork that leads to unreliable record-keeping among people with diabetes.
Keeping a close eye on your blood sugar levels is the key to good diabetes management. It also helps keep your doctor in the loop regarding your general health and the effectiveness of prescribed medication. Going wireless is the next important step in streamlining the process. Learn more about how smartwatches can help regulate diabetes here.