And now we present you with YANIGM: Yet Another Non-Invasive Glucose Monitor. While diabetes patients continue to prick their fingers multiple times a day, the idea of a reliable non-invasive glucose monitor system remains a Holy Grail of sorts for the wearable health tech industry. But it’s not an easy nut to crack (if you’ll pardon the mangled metaphors). We’ve already seen Google give up on its smart contact lens intended to measure glucose levels from tears.
But new players still keep entering the race. One such participant is Alertgy, which is working on a wristband that will measure glucose levels. Other researchers have explored interstitial fluid sampling, optical sensing, ultrasonic sensing, and other technologies. Alertgy uses radio frequency (RF) emissions from an integrated chip in the wristband to measure dielectric changes in the body’s fluids. They believe that this can be correlated to changes in glucose levels. The chip then relays the data to a smartphone app that can display level readings and issue alerts if the measurements go out of range.
According to the company website, they do not expect to have a commercial product until 2020. Given the history of other devices, it is not unlikely that it could take longer than that. As it is currently designed, the system still requires a traditional finger prick and blood sample to calibrate the readings. In other words, it can measure relative changes but is not yet able to make absolute measures.
This is potentially good news for diabetics, but this is a now-familiar story that has not yet produced a successful product. The company is working with the Cleveland Clinic to validate the technology. This is cause for hope, but it is not real until the FDA has approved it and it’s available on the market.