Researchers at the University of Calgary have released the latest version of their “Wearable Microsystem for Minimally Invasive, Pseudo-Continuous Blood Glucose Monitoring,” a watch-like wearable that “bites” you every few hours to draw blood and test your glucose levels.
The system uses a shape memory alloy actuator which contracts when heated and then snaps back into its original form. “When equipped with a small needle, the SMA-based actuators produced much greater penetration force into the skin than the bioelectric actuators and allowed the team to significantly miniaturize the device,” writes IEEE Spectrum.
“The idea is to have periodic, spontaneous and autonomous biting resulting in reliable blood testing, said researcher Martin Mintchev. “It’s a very significant step in demonstrating autonomous contact with the capillary.”
The system can be used for diabetes management as well as regular genetic testing or any sort of blood analysis that needs to be done regularly. From the paper:
The e-Mosquito isn’t quite ready for prime time but it’s a fascinating move forward for folks who have to check their blood sugar regularly. A quick pinch by a cool watch might just be better than the current prick methods used by diabetics.