1. Blood sugar monitoring without finger pricks
The FDA have approved of the first ever continuous blood sugar monitor for diabetic which does not require the finger prick tests. Traditional blood sugar monitors require their users to prick their fingers twice a day for a blood sample to be measured. Aside from the inconvenience, traditional methods also cause pain and rising medical bills which serve to dissuade diabetics from keeping a close watch on their blood sugar.The new system manufactured by Abbott, is known as the FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System. It monitors the patient’s blood sugar level via a small sensor attached to the upper arm, thus, removing the need for daily finger pricks. Simply by waving a machine over the sensor patch, patients can measure their current blood sugar level and note any changes over the past eight hours.
Abbott’s device has been approved for use in adults with type 1 or 2 diabetes with expected market availability within the coming months.
2. Wearable trackers to detect early-stage lung cancer
Researchers at the University of Buffalo are currently working on a project to detect early stages of lung cancer via a wrist-worn tracker. The concept of the cancer tracker revolves around three key components. The first, an implant under the skin which reacts to biomarkers in the blood. The second, the wrist mounted sensor which picks up signals from the implant before passing it on to the third component; a smart-device or tablet which receives and deciphers the information.
The three-part system of the wrist-worn cancer tracker. Photo credit: Pedram Johari, PhD Candidate in Dr. Jornet’s Research Lab/ Wareable
The project will last three years, with the final year of the project dedicated to testing the tracker on human subjects. To make this concept a reality, the team will be working with Intel Labs which provides the technology in wearable devices and signal management. In the future, the team hopes to detect more types of cancer with the tracker.