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Apple May Transform Diabetes Care and Treatment: Report

glucose-blood-monitoring

Apple is working on a secret project to develop wearable devices that can monitor the blood sugar of diabetics without using invasive finger sticks, part of a vision that originated with company founder Steve Jobs, CNBC reported earlier this week.

Apple has assembled a team of biomedical engineers from various companies to work on the project, according to the report.

Cor, a company Apple acquired in 2010, has been working for more than five years on a way to integrate noninvasive glucose monitoring into a wearable like an Apple Watch device.

Glucose monitoring traditionally has required that diabetics use lancets to pierce their fingertips at least four times daily, measuring blood glucose levels before and after meals, when waking up, and before going to bed.

Many Type 1 diabetics wear pumps to deliver insulin, and they sometimes test up to 16 times a day.

One of the benefits of continuous glucose monitoring, or CGM, is to warn diabetics when blood glucose is rising or falling rapidly. Hypoglycemia can result when glucose levels fall below 70 milligrams per deciliter. Hyperglycemia, a rapid rise of blood glucose, can lead to ketoacidosis or, worse, a diabetic coma.

Apple reportedly has begun feasibility studies in the Bay Area and has retained consultants to help with regulatory issues.

Lucrative Market

Managing diabetes has been a rapidly evolving focus in both the smartphone and wearable device markets.

Integrating glucose sensors into wearable devices is a difficult challenge, but the market potential is very great, noted Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for WW mobile device trackers at IDC.

“Today most wearables are consumer products, but there’s an untapped opportunity in the medical community,” he told TechNewsWorld.

The overall diabetic testing market will reach US$17 billion in 2021, up from $12 billion in 2016, ABI has estimated. Revenue from CGM devices is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 41 percent. More…

Smart watches could help predict type 2 diabetes risk

Wearing a smart watch could help detect if people are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to new research.

Stanford University researchers suggest the digital devices might also be able to indicate when people are developing the common cold, as well as more complex conditions.

Many people already use wearable technology to monitor step count, but in this study researchers from Stanford University used the devices to measure skin temperature and heart rate.

They were able to predict whether wearers of the small wrist device were at risk of type 2 diabetes because the technology indicated insulin resistance.

Senior author Professor Michael Snyder, who is Chair of Genetics at Stanford, said: “We want to tell when people are healthy and also catch illnesses at their earliest stages.”

Heart rates and temperature of the skin tends to rise when people become ill, so the researchers used that information to form their findings. A software program, specifically written for the research, collected the data.

Study author Professor Snyder, who also participated in the study, discovered from wearing the watch that he was about to come down with Lyme disease.

He said: “I had elevated heart rate and decreased oxygen at the start of my vacation and knew something was not quite right.”

For several days he had a temperature and a doctor confirmed he was unwell. He received treatment and the symptoms went away.

The findings indicate that it is possible for smart technology to predict the early signs of illness in the future.

Snyder added: “The information collected could aid your physician, although we can expect some initial challenges in how to integrate the data into clinical practice. For example, patients may want to protect the privacy of their physiologic data or may want to share only some of it.

“Physicians and third-party payers will demand robust research to help guide how this comprehensive longitudinal personal data should be used in clinical care. However, in the long-term I am very optimistic that personal biosensors will help us maintain healthier lives.”

The study was published in the journal PLOS.

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Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common long-term health conditions
Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common long-term health conditions

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that results in hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) due to the body:

  • Being ineffective at using the insulin it has produced; also known as insulin resistance and/or
  • Being unable to produce enough insulin

Type 2 diabetes is characterised by the body being unable to metabolise glucose (a simple sugar). This leads to high levels of blood glucose which over time may damage the organs of the body.

From this, it can be understood that for someone with diabetes something that is food for ordinary people can become a sort of metabolic poison.

This is why people with diabetes are advised to avoid sources of dietary sugar.

The good news is for very many people with type 2 diabetes this is all they have to do to stay well. If you can keep your blood sugar lower by avoiding dietary sugar, likely you will never need long-term medication.

Type 2 diabetes was formerly known as non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes due to its occurrence mainly in people over 40. However, type 2 diabetes is now becoming more common in young adults, teens and children and accounts for roughly 90% of all diabetes cases worldwide.

How serious is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a serious medical condition that often requires the use of anti-diabetic medication, or insulin to keep blood sugar levels under control. However, the development of type 2 diabetes and its side effects (complications) can be prevented if detected and treated at an early stage.

In recent years, it has become apparent that many people with type 2 diabetes are able to reverse diabetes through methods including low-carb diets, very-low-calorie diets and exercise.

For guidance on healthy eating to improve blood glucose levels and weight and to fight back against insulin resistance, join the Low Carb Program.

Following pre-diabetes or metabolic disorder, type 2 diabetes can potentially be avoided through diet and exercise.

What causes type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the hormone insulin is not used effectively by the cells in your body. Insulin is needed for cells to take in glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream and convert it into energy.

Ineffective use of insulin results in the body becoming resistant to insulin – also known as insulin resistance, which in turn causes blood sugar levels to rise (hyperglycemia).

In advanced stages, type 2 diabetes may cause damage to insulin producing cells in the pancreas, leading to insufficient insulin production for your body’s needs.

Type 2 diabetes risk factors

A number of factors can increase…

Google Works on a Glucose-Measuring Smart Contact Lens

Although smart wearables hit a plateau in 2016, it won’t be long before the market picks up again as research predicts that manufacturers will be looking at new ways to innovate wearables in the coming years. In fact, data presented by CCS Insight revealed that the wearables market will be worth $25 billion by 2019 as demand for health-focused sensors and technology is expected to grow further.

Wearable technology will branch out past the current smart headsets, smartwatches, and even fitness brands, as the next wave of devices will be more focused on specialized health assistance.

A particular long-awaited wearable device on the market is Google’s smart contact lens. The search giant and pharmaceutical company Novartis teamed up to develop the first smart contact lens that is said to assist patients with diabetes as well as those with eye problems. It is a contact lens with a built-in microchip that is able to measure the glucose level of patients non-invasively and correct eye issues, respectively.

The technology

While the world welcomed the emergence of smartwatches on the market, Google surprised the industry by announcing that they have plans to work on a smart contact lens that can monitor blood-sugar levels and correct vision in a new and innovative way.

The idea was a brainchild of Brian Otis, a former electrical engineering professor and a team leader at Google. His research group wants to take advantage of the possibility to shrink computer microchips, wireless antennas and other parts of the smart contact lens to ensure it won’t interfere with the user’s view.

Eye-care firm Alcon, a unit of Novartis, had licensed the technology from Google and sought regulatory approval of the device from the DFA. The Switzerland-based company will also be the one to produce the lens.

“The eye-mountable device is mounted on the pedestal such that the posterior concave side contacts the second end of the pedestal and the eye-mountable device is elevated from the base of the container,” reported Tech Times.

Stiff Competition

While the idea is extremely unique, Google needs to work faster in releasing their own smart contact lens. Apparently, another company is already working on producing the same technology and it will be compatible with their rival tech manufacturer, Apple.

Medical supply company EPGL also intends to develop a smart contact lens with compatible apps for the iOS platform. The technology will be projecting augmented reality applications to the user’s eyes.

While many predicted that Apple is working on a VR headset, CEO Tim Cook clearly feels that AR will be bigger than virtual reality and they have been working on it ‘behind the curtain’ for quite a while now.

Some industry experts even suggest that Apple were already making their recent handset, iPhone 7, ready for AR or VR head-mounted devices. It is believed to “foster wireless technology” with the introduction of the EarPods, which will power most future wearables in the coming years.

Although a lot of consumers were initially disgruntled by the removal of the device’s headphone jack, it remains one of the most popular handsets today with an overall rating of 4.1-star by O2 users, surpassing the rating given to other Android smartphones.

As Apple continues to focus on AR, it seems a smart contact lens by EPGL running iOS apps will certainly add competition to Google’s upcoming release. Who will dominate the market in 2017, remains to be seen.

Delays in development

Back in 2014, after the news of the partnership was revealed to the public, Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez mentioned that he hoped to see the smart contact lens released on the market within five years or so. He was then reported in 2015 saying that they were on track to begin testing in 2016.

However, a representative from the pharmaceutical firm recently revealed they had done away with their 2016 goal of testing the technology and their timelines have had to be moved back further due to unprecedented delays.

“It is too early to say when exactly human clinical trials for these lenses will begin,” a Novartis spokesperson told Reuters. “This is a very technically complex process and both sides are learning as we go along and will provide updates at the appropriate time.”

It is still unclear when they will start testing the technology. However that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anticipation for the new innovation as Google continues to aggressively explore the possibility of a glucose-sensing lens after their successful meeting with the FDA, the market is waiting for its arrival of what could be a groundbreaking piece of tech.

Exclusively written for Lyfbulb
by TechJeneration

Review: Life with The ZoomHRV Wearable Fitness Monitor

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We had the opportunity to get our hands on a ZoomHRV 2.0 by LifeTrak, retailing at $139. This impressive fitness wearable is capable of continuous activity and heart rate monitoring even under water. It is unequivocally designed for the multi-sport athlete obsessed with data about their health and fitness.

When asked about the underlying technology behind Zoom, LifeTrak says, “…[it] is both a unique and proprietary sensor, developed by LifeTrak’s parent Salutron Inc.” While the Zoom’s optical sensor utilizes the principles of photoplethysmography (referred to as PPG technology), it is significantly different than other PPG-based sensors found in various existing wearables.

The most noticeable difference is the use of four separate optical sensors vs. the typical single sensor approach. This gives Zoom an advantage of a broader ‘sensor area’ when interfacing with the skin and the underlying capillaries, allowing for more in-depth signal analysis for both heart rate and heart rate variability.

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As well, the Zoom uses a single LED as a light emitter vs. multiple LEDs often used, which supports an extended battery life of five days during normal usage of one hour of active workout per day with heart rate readings every 10 minutes over the entire day.

LifeTrak has not published data on the accuracy of the system, however, we know that PPG is widely used across the industry with acceptable accuracy for its use case. It does seem that the implementation of this sensor set has been perfected by LifeTrak, allowing it to be used on different parts of the body and under water, which are use cases that many cannot promise.

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