Glucose sensor app said to be first third-party title to access Apple iPhone’s NFC

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An app for Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre glucose reader is said to be the first third-party iOS title to make use of the NFC chip in Apple’s iPhone, previously reserved only for Apple Pay.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

Smart Contact Lenses Could Screen for Pre-Diabetes and Monitor Glucose Levels

“Smart” Lenses

The concept of a smart contact lens isn’t exactly new. However, many emerging smart lens technologies employ lenses that are both expensive and extremely brittle. They can impair the wearer’s vision or even cause injury, and measuring signals from these lenses often requires bulky equipment. Now, a newly developed smart lens could change all of that.

In a study published in Science Advances, a team of researchers from the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) and Sungkyunkwan University detail their research on a lens capable of measuring and monitoring glucose levels in tears. Not only is it softer and more user-friendly than other smart contact lenses, it is also the first soft contact lens to use a display pixel for glucose monitoring.

Overview of the soft, smart contact lens to monitor glucose levels in tears. Image Credit: Jang-Ung Park, UNIST

The team of researchers incorporated three main components into a flexible, transparent nanostructure to create these smart, soft lenses: glucose sensors, wireless power transfer circuits, and display pixels.

The pixels access sensing data in real-time, eliminating the need for external equipment to measure the glucose. The glucose information is displayed through the LED pixel. When the system detects that glucose levels have crossed a certain threshold, the LED pixel in the lens shuts off, alerting the wearer to the concerning level.

So far, the researchers have tested their smart contact lens in a rabbit’s eye, and they say they were able to successfully monitor the animal’s glucose levels wirelessly. They hope the lens could eventually be used to monitor glucose in humans. This could be incredibly useful for people with diabetes, and it could also be used to screen for pre-diabetes, giving patients the upper hand in preventing diabetes and keeping track of their health.

Seeing the Future

This dramatic advance in smart contact lens technology could one day be a standard medical tool, allowing people to take their health into their own hands with comfortable, easy-to-use monitoring abilities.

Besides glucose levels, this type of technology could be extended to monitor other biomarkers, such as blood pressure, body temperature, or cholesterol. These could allow the wearer to work together with their physician to better prevent vascular disease, better understand their risk of stroke, and much more.

Because smart lenses can interact with the wearer’s natural tears, they could one day be used to deliver drugs comfortably and directly.

The potential applications aren’t limited to healthcare, either. The ability to integrate sensors comfortably into a lens could be used to advance virtual and augmented reality technologies.

While quite a few steps remain between testing on rabbits and the release of a usable product for humans, this research puts us closer to a future in which contact lenses are able to transform our lives.

The post Smart Contact Lenses Could Screen for Pre-Diabetes and Monitor Glucose Levels appeared first on Futurism.

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Fitbit could add glucose monitors to future health-monitoring devices

Fitbit just invested over $ 6 million in a company called Sano that's working on a coin-sized patch that monitors blood sugar, CNBC reports. The wearables-maker already incorporates other glucose-tracking devices' data into its Ionic smartwatch, but t…
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Apple’s non-invasive glucose reader for Apple Watch may be ‘years away’

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Apple is still developing a non-invasive glucose reader, but the technology might not show up in an Apple Watch for several years, a report said this week.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

The FDA Just Approved the First Continuous Glucose Monitoring System

Monitoring Diabetes

Current diabetes health monitoring equipment requires the person to prick their finger and provide a blood sample (a process often called a “fingerstick”), which can become frustrating over time. For people who can’t stand the thought of doing that indefinitely, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has something for them: a new glucose monitoring system that doesn’t require harming yourself.

The organization announced earlier this week it had given approval to the FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System from Abbott Diabetes Care Inc. Instead of a fingerstick, it utilizes a small sensor placed underneath the skin, enabling it to continuously measure and monitor glucose levels; a mobile reader can be waved above the sensor to see if glucose levels are too high or too low.

The new system is intended for adults over the age of 18. The FDA explains it can be worn for up to 10 days after a 12-hour initialization period. However, it’s not capable of offering real-time alerts, or alerting the wearer of low blood sugar levels.

“The FDA is always interested in new technologies that can help make the care of people living with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, easier and more manageable,” said FDA Deputy Director of New Product Evaluation Donald St. Pierre. “This system allows people with diabetes to avoid the additional step of fingerstick calibration, which can sometimes be painful, but still provides necessary information for treating their diabetes—with a wave of the mobile reader.”

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Health Risk

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 30 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, with 1 out of 4 unaware they have it. While there’s currently no cure, multiple vaccines are headed to human trials next year, while stem cell implants are also being explored as a potential cure. Healthcare startup Vitra, meanwhile, believes it can combat diabetes using nutrition and personalized diets.

Regardless of which method yields success, it’s clear that diabetes is a serious threat to a person’s health. Diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death in the country, but the new FreeStyle Libre Flash and aforementioned treatments could significantly reduce the number of people living with the disease.

The post The FDA Just Approved the First Continuous Glucose Monitoring System appeared first on Futurism.

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Soon, Diabetics Will Be Able to Check Their Glucose Levels on Their Fitbit Smartwatch

Next month, Fitbit will release their new smartwatch, the Ionic. Ahead of the device’s launch, the fitness tracker specialists have announced a partnership with glucose monitor firm Dexcom that will allow people with diabetes to use the device to track their glucose levels.

Wearable Technology
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The Fitbit Ionic will be capable of displaying data collected by the Dexcom G5 Mobile sensor, which is implanted under the skin. Currently, the sensor delivers updates on the user’s glucose levels every five minutes via a companion app, but starting in 2018, those updates will be accessible through the Ionic.

The Dexcom G5 system is already compatible with Apple Watch, but communication must go through an iPhone rather than happening directly between the sensor and the smartwatch itself. That requirement is expected to change when Apple releases their watchOS4 update later this year.

Making the Dexcom sensor compatible with major smartwatch brands is a great way to help the more than 400 million people with diabetes keep an eye on their condition. However, they’ll need to make a significant financial investment in order to take advantage of this technology — Fitbit’s Ionic is priced at $ 300 and the Dexcom sensor itself costs $ 900.

The post Soon, Diabetics Will Be Able to Check Their Glucose Levels on Their Fitbit Smartwatch appeared first on Futurism.

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Rumor: Tim Cook personally testing new glucose blood sugar monitor for Apple Watch

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Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook is said to have been spotted on his company’s corporate headquarters wearing a new, unannounced Apple Watch accessory that could be used to measure a user’s blood sugar levels in an non-intrusive fashion.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News