Wearable sensor eliminates painful prick for blood glucose monitoring

This week’s Smart Health roundup features a prick-free glucose monitoring device, a platform that bridges the gap between wearable tech and meaningful health data, and a rubbery counterpart to a shiny tracker.

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Finger prick-free blood sugar monitoring


Diabetics monitoring their blood glucose levels know the daunting and painful task of pricking one’s finger to draw a bit of blood for regular testing. Those in Europe may soon be free of finger pricking all together when Abbott Diabetes Care Inc.’s FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System becomes available to consumers, expected to hit store shelves in the coming weeks.

The FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System utilizes a sensor worn on the upper arm that is approximately the size of a two Euro coin. The sensor measures glucose every minute in the interstitial fluid via a small (5mm long, 0.4mm wide) filament inserted just under the skin and held in place with a small adhesive pad. The sensor can be worn for up to 14 days and when a user needs a glucose reading, a hand-held reader or scanner is passed over the sensor. The reader is able to scan even when the sensor is obstructed by clothing, which means testing can be done discreetly and conveniently.

The system has recently received the CE Mark (Conformité Européenne), which means the system will be available in seven countries across Europe in the coming weeks.

Bridging the gap between wearable tech & meaningful health data


As more wearable health devices become available to consumers, we may soon be faced with loads of data that we don’t know what to do with. To help consumers make sense of data gathered by these health and fitness trackers, a Canadian startup has launched a platform that aims to bridge the gap between the hardware and meaningful health data.

Vivametrica is a service that analyzes data from wearable sensor devices for the assessment of health and wellness. It is device agnostic, which means the software will work with any fitness and health tracker. According to Vivametrica president Scott Valentine, the service will support FitBit, devices running Android 4.4 and Android Wear, with plans to support Apple Inc.’s Health Kit by December.

By having an analytics platform dedicated to health-related data, Vivametrica can be used to predict risks for diseases and for early detection.

“[W]e can derive a relative risk of disease based upon that information and our developed algorithms. For example, if my activity level and other characteristics are less than average, we can provide a relative risk of cardiac disease; users can then manipulate the activity sliders and see how increasing activity will start to reduce the relative risk of disease,” Vivametrica founder and CEO Dr Richard Hu stated.

Misfit Flash


Misfit Wearables unveiled its second line of fitness and sleep trackers called Misfit Flash. What makes the new lineup different is that the new line has a more sportier vibe thanks to its TPU/polycarbonate material, unlike the older Misfit Shine that used anodized aircraft-grade aluminum. Misfit Flash is now lighter at 6 grams, and comes in a variety of colors such as Frost, Onyx, Fuchsia, Zest, Wave, Reef and Coca-Cola Red.

Like the original Misfit Shine, the new version uses a CR2032 coin cell battery that lasts up to six months. Misfit Flash is waterproof to up to 30 meters, and is able to track steps, calories burned, distance traveled, and sleep quality and duration. The new wearable gadget is also user friendly: just press on the face to see your progress on your smartphone using the accompanying app, which can also help you set goals and achieve them.

Misfit Flash is now available for pre-order for $49.99, about half the price of the Misfit Shine.

photo credit: Stefanvds(.com) via photopin cc

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