Wearables for diabetes, more get thinner on a ‘smart skin’ diet

click to enlargeA team from the Seoul (South Korea) National University, University of Texas-Austin and wearable health sensor developer MC10 [TTA previous articles] have developed a translucent, thin graphene ‘cuff’ with sensors for blood glucose and a not-quite-complete metformin delivery mechanism for those with Type 2 diabetes. The graphene is ‘doped’ with gold to have it transmit blood glucose readings inferred on mechanical strain, skin temperature, and chemical composition of sweat. The mobile app calculates the metformin medication dose needed and the wristband administers it through an array of microneedles. This would not be a semi closed-loop system (dubbed here a ‘robopancreas’) which Type 1 diabetics now can use for insulin delivery, as there’s a delay in sensing and delivery. It also cannot in present form correct for excessively low blood glucose. IEEE Spectrum, Nature (abstract) Hat tip to former TTA Ireland Editor Toni Bunting

click to enlargeAnother wearable sensor bracelet with a distinctly ‘home-brewed’ feel is out of academia, from the Abdullah University of Science and Technology’s Integrated Nanotechnology Laboratory in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. The research team pulled together office supplies–no, you are not misreading this: Post-it notes to detect humidity, sponges to detect pressure, aluminum foil to sense motion, conductive silver ink and graphite pencils to sense temperature and acidity. MedCityNews

But We The Patients better get ready to read and ‘own’ all this data, because doctors and clinics aren’t ready or willing to take on the tsunami of lifestyle and vitals information–as this Editor’s been saying since 2009. It’s overwhelming, and they don’t have a way to use it meaningfully or efficiently. But if the patient takes it seriously and persuades the doctor to, it can be highly effective. University of Washington survey of over 200 patients. Hat tip again to Ms Bunting

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