Blood glucose monitors are growing up, and it's about time. With some 26 million diabetics in the U.S. alone, (that's almost 1 in 10 Americans), and hundreds of millions globally, according to the American Diabetes Association, glucose monitoring has become one of the largest patient-generated data sets in the world -- and yet much of that data is being uploaded manually onto desktops or written by hand into little log books.
Let's face it: traditional glucose monitors require their share of work. Even diabetics who are diligent about monitoring their glucose levels have to then go to the trouble of either plugging the meters into a computer to upload the readings or tracking them manually.
So Pleasanton, Calif.-based Biomedtrics has come up with what it calls the ditto Glucose Data System to bridge the gap between glucose monitors and smartphones and thus make glucose tracking a little easier. The system comprises a Bluetooth device, an electronic logbook app, and a secure Web site -- called mydittolife -- on which … Read more
Most vaccines work by giving the immune system a crash course in how to attack bacteria or viruses. The goal is to protect against diseases -- think influenza, polio, and smallpox, which have collectively killed tens of millions of people in recent history.
Now an experimental vaccine being developed at Stanford University uses an entirely different approach to get at the same end goal -- protecting against type 1 diabetes by instructing a diabetic's immune system to stop attacking its own body.… Read more
As recently as the 1950s, one in three people diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes died within 25 years of diagnosis. People in the '50s had to monitor their glucose levels via urine testing and inject themselves with animal-derived insulin.
How far we've come. Today, researchers are working to develop an artificial pancreas for people with Type 1 diabetes that works with a smartphone or tablet to both monitors blood glucose levels and disperses insulin 24/7.
The goal, they say, is to reduce complications and improve the life expectancy of the millions of people with the metabolic disease -- because even though only 7 percent of them now die within 25 years of diagnosis, this rate is still far above general population mortality.… Read more
For diabetics who have to constantly manage their blood-sugar levels, insulin works. The problem is, many people with Type 1 diabetes have to prick their fingers multiple times a day to monitor their levels, and inject themselves with insulin when those levels are too high. And they don't always administer the right amount at the right time.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston Children's Hospital hope to automate insulin delivery with a novel nanotech approach that involves injecting a gel that detects blood-sugar levels and secretes insulin when needed -- with a single injection doing do the trick for as many as 10 days.… Read more
Ever thought a smartphone could detect what was in your urine? Well, now it can. A new iPhone app, developed by MIT entrepreneur Myshkin Ingawale and unveiled at the TED conference this week, lets people take urine samples with their mobile device.
Obviously, pee and electronics don't mix, so this app instead uses the smartphone's camera to determine what's in urine. Dubbed Uchek, the app involves the user peeing into a cup, putting a color-coded urinalysis strip into the cup, taking of photo of the results, and then letting the app work its magic.… Read more
Within a couple years, a single exhale may tell us more about our personal health than merely the current state of our oral hygiene -- and without relying on dogs to sniff out our problems.
The answer lies in a device called the Single Breath Disease Diagnostics Breathalyzer. Back in 2010, Stony Brook University researcher Perena Gouma began testing an earlier iteration in preclinical trials; for use with diabetes patients; now she has developed a sensor that might enable the detection of a range of diseases in a single exhale.
The sensor, which lives in a device about half the … Read more
Glucose levels are 100 times more concentrated in blood than in saliva, which is why in spite of many efforts to use saliva, diabetics are still pricking themselves to get accurate glucose readings.
But now, harnessing the power of nanotechnology, engineers at Brown University say they've designed a biochip that can measure glucose levels in saliva almost as accurately as current devices can measure levels in blood.
To do this, the engineers etched a complicated array of thousands of plasmonic interferometers (no, this is not an episode of Farscape) onto a fingernail-size biochip. This means they were essentially using … Read more
Patches of tiny needles have already been shown to effectively deliver medications painlessly, and without a bloody mess. Now the tiny needles could also be used to monitor body chemistry in real time.
The new tech, developed by a team of biomedical engineers out of North Carolina State University, the University of California at San Diego, and Sandia National Laboratories, employs electrochemical sensors in the hollow channels of microneedles to detect certain molecules. The researchers reported their findings in the chemistry journal Talanta.
Current body chemistry monitoring involves taking samples, often before or after an event. Wearable micro-sensors, on the … Read more
All right, people, I hate to be the bearer of such grave news, but resolution season is almost upon us. If you're wondering how to make 2012 the year you finally shed those extra pounds, start choosing the apple over the fries, floss every day, etc., read on.