Almost six million people suffer from diabetes in Spain, according to the Ministry of Health; a staggering number that makes it the most common non-contagious disease in the world.
And despite that, diabetic people still suffer the consequences of their disease in their daily lives; for example, the need to measure blood sugar levels periodically, usually with a prick to draw a blood sample.
Although there are technological advances to measure the glucose level without spikes, and smart pills that inject insulin automatically, they are still far from the average user; or not.
Apple Watch for diabetics
Because now, the Japanese company Quantum Operation claims to have developed a prototype of wearable able to measure blood sugar level without the need for pricks. The device has been presented during CES 2021, which this year is celebrated in a virtual way due to the global pandemic.
It is a promise that has raised many hopes in the Internet community, but also many doubts. The startup claims that it is capable of non-invasively monitoring glucose levels, thanks to the development of new technologies that can already be miniaturized to be integrated into a wearable.
Specifically, this prototype uses a small spectrometer, capable of scanning the blood as it passes through the blood vessels in the arm. The key is in new spectroscopic materials, installed in both the watch and the strap; Quantum Operation keeps the secret of how it works, although it claims that it has been patented.
Same as measuring heart rate
The operation of this kind of Apple Watch for diabetics would be very similar to measuring the oxygen level in the blood; once the function was activated on the touch screen, we would only have to wait about twenty seconds for the scan to be carried out.
When finished, the data will be displayed on the screen, allowing us to keep track of the blood glucose level; It is to be imagined that it would have its own app, or it will be compatible with platforms such as Apple Health.
In addition, this watch also has the necessary sensors for other measurements, such as heart rate and is even capable of doing cardiograms like Apple Watch.
Quantum Operation afirma a Engadget that his customers will be health care providers and insurers, but he believes that the data obtained by these watches can also be very useful in obtaining information to accelerate research on diabetes.
The first tests, published by the company itself, show that there is a certain variation between what the watch measures and a conventional glucose monitor, the FreeStyle Libre. Therefore, at the moment it does not seem to be a real alternative if we want precise data to calculate the dose of insulin we need; but it can be used to get a general idea of the levels, instead of having to do a test.
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