wearable device
(Photo : Youtube/CNBC) Wearable device to monitor blood sugar

A Japanese startup company at CES 2021 is claiming to have solved one of the biggest issues in medical technology, which is noninvasive glucose monitoring as it needs to be continues.

The company, Quantum Operation Inc., exhibited at the CES convention a prototype wearable that can allegedly accurately measure blood sugar from your wrist.

Quantum wearable

The said devices has similarities to Apple Watch when it comes to its design. The prototype crams in a small spectrometer which is used to scan the blood in order to measure your glucose level. Quantum's pitch states that the watch can also read other vital signs such as ECG and heart rate.

Quantum Operation Inc., stated that its secret in creating the device is in its patented spectroscopy materials which are built into the device and its band.

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In order to use it, the wearer needs to slid the watch on and activate the monitoring from the menu, and after 20 seconds you can see the data.

Quantum stated that it expects to sell its hardware to healthcare providers, insurers and massive data platforms to collect and examine the information that is generated by patents who will wear the device.

Quantum Operation supplied a sampling of its data compared to that of a traditional monitor, the FreeStyle Libre, wherein you do not need to prick your finger. It eliminates routine finger sticks by using sensors to read glucose levels. Said sensor is worn on the back of the upper arm for up to 14 days. At this point, there had been a reported difference on the data between the wearable and the traditional blood sugar monitor.

For now, that is a deal breaker for those who rely upon accurate blood glucose readings to know what their insulin dosage should be.

Noninvasive glucose monitoring is something that the medical industry has been working on for decades. One in ten Americans are diabetic, and that number is likely to rise as the obesity crisis continues to increase.

In order to maintain their health, diabetics today either need to take regular blood tests that requires them to prick their finger or they need to wear an implanted glucose monitor.

In the last five years, companies like Abbott and Dexcom have found ways to connect these monitors to smartwatches in order to make tracking easy.

The wearables industry has been looking for an easier and less invasive way of monitoring glucose levels. Unfortunately, no company has been able to successfully demonstrate a working version of a noninvasive blood sugar monitor, at least not on a commercial level.

In 2017, PKVitality came to CES with a wearable that had a series of 0.5mm tall needles on the back, it collected interstitial fluid from your skin. But that does not really count as noninvasive.

Apple to work on blood sugar wearable

Apple has been reportedly working on a blood sugar monitoring platform even before its founder Steve Jobs passed away. Rumors then surfaced in 2017 that Apple had a dedicated lab that is looking at ways to monitor blood sugar through a wearable.

In 2018, AppleInsider found a patent that the company had filed, related to using absorption spectroscopy to monitor the blood glucose levels.

This team, which is said to be a secret, was apparently former employees of C8 MediSensors, a company which failed to achieve this goal at the start of the 2000s. It raised $60 million in investment from companies like GE but was not able to create a working product until it close in 2013.

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Written by Sieeka Khan

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