Diabetics trending with wearable tech

I’ve posted about this topic before. There is a great need for diabetics to have the ability to measure their blood glucose in a non-intrusive manner. In one of my former posts (Google has the answer), Google attempts a way to do this. In this post I will show you another approach towards non-instrusive blood glucose measurement possibilities.

Introducing the Diabetes Sentry.

diabetessentry1

I’ve come across an interesting blog written by a journalist and diabetic himself David Mendosa. His posts are all about his disease and he has published a number of articles and columns in all the major diabetes magazines. His latest post is about this new device called Diabetes Sentry.

The Diabetes Sentry is a wristband meant to be worn 24/7. In the era of wearable tech, this device fits in perfectly. It’s simple, easy to use and no hassle to acquire the information you need.

Unlike the conventional blood glucose measuring devices, this device measures your blood glucose indirectly. It measures the symptoms rather that the actual level of blood sugar using a drop of your blood. Their are two main symptoms following hypoglycaemia (drop in blood glucose), namely a temperature drop on the skin and an increase in perspiration. The device sounds an alarm and wakes you in your sleep when these things happen.

diabetessentry1

However, as the device measures blood glucose indirectly, there is always the possibility of false positives. It can happen that your skin temperature drops or that you perspire due to other reasons than hypoglycaemia. Especially if this should happen during the night, it can become very unpleasant. Nevertheless, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration in the United States) has approved this product and it is available on the market, may it be at a very high price. You can buy one of these devices for a staggering $495.

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You can follow David Mendosa’s blog here.

You can visit the website of Diabetes Sentry for further information here.

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9 responses to “Diabetics trending with wearable tech

  1. Again, I’m amazed of the expanding options for diabetics. But I do have some questions and thoughts on this device. It is true when I say that this device can not be used by every patient with insulin dependent diabetes. Probably only the patients who actually exhibit those two symptoms of hypoglycaemia, temperature drop on the skin and increase in perspiration, can use this device. So probably the use of this device will have to be monitored carefully, because not every patient can benefit from it and should use it.

    I’m pleased to know that the research towards methods to measure the blood glucose level in a non-intrusive way is paying of. My aunt has to measure her glucose levels four times a day and I know that it’s not a fun experience.

  2. You are indeed correct. Usually, when people suffering from diabetes get a device like this, they still perform their conventional blood glucose tests as a comparison if the device was right. When it turns out that the device works accordingly for the patient, they may stop using the conventional and unpleasant finger-pricking method. However, this device is only a good alternative for those who exhibit skin temperature drops and perspiration when experiencing a blood glucose drop or ‘hypo’. So it is indeed not a solution for all the diabetics but at least for some it is a more pleasant way of life.
    There are some people who need to monitor their glucose levels up to 15 times a day, can you imagine having to go through that painful and cumbersome process that many times? For this reason some diabetics don’t monitor as much as they should, possibly causing other complications.

  3. Indeed, I can imagine that having to measure your glucose levels up to 15 times a day is unbearable. Luckily my aunt is being checked by nurses from home care, because she doesn’t even dare to prick herself to measure her glucose level and to inject herself with insulin. But this care isn’t available for every diabetic patient and when you have to check yourself 15 times a day, it’s just not possible to have you checked out every time. That’s way it’s so important to do research towards non-intrusive ways of measuring the glucose levels, because we also have to think of the comfort of the diabetic patient. At the moment, though, I don’t think the convential way of measuring the glucose levels, is going to disappear completely soon.

  4. I took a look at the blog of David Mendosa, also very interesting! Apparently this device, the Diabetes Sentry, already exist for 10 years (partly under the name “Sleep Sentry)! I wonder how many users there are in Belgium? Because I have never heard of it, but I also don’t know anyone with Diabetes so that is not really surprising.
    I also saw that another device exist: the GlucoWatch. This doesn’t measure the symptoms of diabetes, but the blood glucose level itself (so they call it minimally invasive). I wonder why they don’t use this technique more, because then you might have less problems with false negatives/positives?

  5. Yes the company started with the Sleep Sentry but the took this off the market as it wasn’t very accurate. I think the Diabetes Sentry is the same device but with a couple of improvements to the sensors.
    I haven’t found any records of Belgians that use a similar device, I think it will take a while before we see these type of devices in our country.
    If you read further in the article about the GlucoWatch (http://mendosa.com/glucowatch.htm), you will see that they had problems to begin with when they came out with the product; skin irritations, false readings, … and now it’s not even available anymore on the market. I think this was a good try for a non-invasive glucose meter but unfortunately it failed.

  6. So you say that in Belgium almost everyone still uses the conventional method, even if that’s quite painful and other options are available (for most diabetic patients).
    I did a search for the GlucoWatch via google, and indeed it isn’t available anymore on the market. It also seems that the people disliked the calibration that had to be done, because then you also needed to measure it with the finger stick measurement.

    http://www.diabetesmonitor.com/glucose-meters/what-happened-to-the-glucowatch.htm

    I certainly hope that more devices like these will be invented that are easy to use for the diabetic patients!

  7. “Like with any new products that get on the market, the early-adaptors and people with money can usually be the first to try the newest developments in technological advancements. These new and modern ways of measuring your blood glucose, with an insulin pump, contact lens, IR-laser,… are all methods a small minority will use I think.”

    https://pieterjanmartens.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/google-has-the-answer/

    I think in Belgium it’s not any different. You should read the comments from the blog post following the link. These new methods for blood glucose measurement are expensive. It might be more convenient but maybe people still look at the price of it even though it might be easier to use the new techniques like the insulin pump, contact lens, etc.

  8. Very interesting post again, I didn’t knew that there were that many different options for measuring your blood sugar. But I wonder how fast the wristband reacts to an increase or decrease in sugar level… Isn’t the aim to keep your sugar level as steady as possible? Won’t the wristband be too late in detecting an increase/decrease leading to much more fluctuations?

  9. You mean is there a delay on the measurement? Yes I suppose that is inevitable to have a slight delay but that is the great thing about this wristband; it measure your blood glucose indirectly through perspiration and skin temperature drop instead of the actual glucose level. These symptoms are much faster to measure and experience less delay than the blood glucose level.

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