Apple, Google and Samsung want to take on diabetes with wearable tech
A new report reveals that tech giants including Apple, Google and Samsung are all working to take on diabetes with their wearables. These top tech firms are searching for applications and sensors that could measure glucose levels for diabetics, according to Reuters.
Citing several peoples familiar with the companies’ plans, these mobile technology firms are working on sensors that can turn their wearables into must-have items as they work on blood sugar monitoring capabilities through non-invasive methods.
Samsung have already introduced a pretty good range of wearable devices, including its Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Many are expecting Google to announce their first device at the I/O developers conference this week, having already introduced its wearables OS called Google Wear. Apple on the other hand, is also rumoured to be working on its first smartwatch which industry watchers are calling the iWatch.
The best way of monitoring one’s glucose level in the blood is still by pricking with a needle and testing the resulting blood sample. With diabetes afflicting 29 million people in America alone, any non-invasive technology could surely push the wearable sector forward.
With wearable technologies increasingly being used as health monitoring tools, the big guns are racing to find a faultless way for glucose tracking, as many have tried and failed. In order to find a way that makes health monitoring easy and accessible to a large audience, the firms are said to be variously taking on medical scientists and engineers, asking U.S regulators about oversight and developing glucose-tracking functions in potential wearable devices, according to the report.
All of these leading firms have their own version of health tracking apps and devices already, but they have not officially confirmed that they are working to use diabetes as a selling point. Google however, has previously announced that it is working on a smart contact lens prototype which is designed to monitor glucose levels in a wearers’ tears. If these companies can hit the point of interest in blood sugar level tracking, it could potentially open them to a huge market.
“All the biggies want glucose on their phone,” said John Smith, former chief scientific officer of Johnson & Johnson’s LifeScan, which makes blood glucose monitoring supplies. “Get it right, and there’s an enormous payoff.”