Groundbreaking innovation- wrist watch to measure blood sugar from sweat
Good news for Diabetes patients. Very soon they will be able to monitor their blood sugar and lactate levels anytime just by wearing a smartwatch.
Researchers at the Metallurgy and Materials Science Research Institute, Chulalongkorn University are going to soon launch a cutting-edge, health innovation – a wristwatch that can check blood sugar levels from sweat in real-time. MoreoverI it's accurate, not painful, less expensive, and can replace imported equipment.
The research team has introduced the ultimate wristwatch that can measure blood sugar and lactate levels from sweat for which they have received a Good Invention Award for Science and Pharmacy, 2021, and a collaboration with the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA).
This Chula-NSTDA joint project has researched and developed a special yarn material that is biochemically modified to absorb sweat and is sensitive to blood sugar and lactate enzymes in a single device. Diabetics can monitor their blood sugar and lactate level anytime while wearing this smartwatch.
According to Dr. Natnadda Rodthongkam, Deputy Director of the Metallurgy and Materials Science Research Institute, "Medical reports indicate that the level of glucose in sweat is directly related to blood sugar. So, we used this finding to innovate a device that helps tell the patient's glucose level in real-time. This is very important to the daily life of diabetic patients who must regularly monitor and control their blood sugar levels."
"Moreover, it helps reduce the burden of healthcare workers. Patients do not have to waste money and time traveling to the hospital and risk complications."
Diabetes is a common disease among the elderly. According to the Diabetes Association of Thailand's report, in 2020, up to 5 million Thai people suffer from diabetes. More importantly, diabetic patients also experience muscle weakness caused by the disorder of the immune and nervous systems.
Currently, the methods used to determine blood sugar level are by drawing blood from the fingertips according to the fasting plasma glucose standards for diabetics, together with a lactate test to measure the concentration of lactate. Patients with muscle weakness need to fast for at least one hour before they can draw blood.
"Knowing real-time blood sugar and lactate levels will help patients take care of themselves, adjust their behavior, or seek immediate medical attention before it becomes dangerous. We, therefore, devised a method that is faster, more accurate, and doesn't need fasting or drawing blood, "said Prof. Dr. Natnadda.
"This special yarn transmits the obtained data to a test sheet inserted inside the smartwatch case… to compare the measurement against a standard Calibration Curve. If the blood glucose is low, the color will be light, if high, the color will be dark, while the lactate value will appear even darker in color, "Prof. Dr. Natnadda explained.
Currently, the research team is testing the effectiveness of the watch on diabetics and weak muscles, with cooperation from physicians specializing in diabetes treatment and the Comprehensive Geriatric Clinic, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital. After successful testing to ensure its performance, this device will be further developed to be used by real diabetic patients soon. The team also anticipates that this smartwatch will be popular among patients, and can help reduce the cost of importing high-priced medical devices from abroad.
Dr Kartikeya Kohli is an Internal Medicine Consultant at Sitaram Bhartia Hospital in Delhi with super speciality training in Nephrology. He has worked with various eminent hospitals like Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Sir Gangaram Hospital. He holds an MBBS from Kasturba Medical College Manipal, DNB Internal Medicine, Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Research and Business Development, Fellow DNB Nephrology, MRCP and ECFMG Certification. He has been closely associated with India Medical Association South Delhi Branch and Delhi Medical Association and has been organising continuing medical education programs on their behalf from time to time. Further he has been contributing medical articles for their newsletters as well. He is also associated with electronic media and TV for conduction and presentation of health programs. He has been associated with Medical Dialogues for last 3 years and contributing articles on regular basis.