Heard this? Smart sensor attached to your ear helps you track diabetes | health and fitness | Hindustan Times
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Heard this? Smart sensor attached to your ear helps you track diabetes

Managing blood sugar fluctuations is getting easier too, with monitors the size of a thumb drive and a cellphone being used to track glucose fluctuations and manage diabetes.

health and fitness Updated: Mar 09, 2017 11:46 IST
Sanchita Sharma
The GlucoTrack device uses a non-invasive sensor clipped to your earlobe and a combination of ultrasonic, electromagnetic and thermal algorithms to measure physiological parameters correlated with blood glucose level to give an accurate reading.
The GlucoTrack device uses a non-invasive sensor clipped to your earlobe and a combination of ultrasonic, electromagnetic and thermal algorithms to measure physiological parameters correlated with blood glucose level to give an accurate reading.(Courtesy: GlucoTrack)

Have diabetes and are tired of getting your blood glucose levels tested every few days? A sensor clipped to your earlobe can now give you a reading within 60 seconds without drawing blood.

GlucoTrack Model DF-F uses a non-invasive sensor clipped to your earlobe and a combination of ultrasonic, electromagnetic and thermal algorithms to measure physiological parameters correlated with blood glucose level to give an accurate reading.

“The results are displayed within a minute on a USB-connected smartphone or tablet, which stores all readings to help you track fluctuations over time.,” says Avner Gal, president and CEO of Intergrity Applications, which has developed the system.

Before use, GlucoTrack is calibrated using three finger-pricks over the course of 30 minutes.

“Each ear clip has to be replaced every six months, so six blood draws are needed each year. While one device can be shared by three persons, each person needs an individual ear clip to get a reading,” said Gal, at Israel’s health innovation conference MEDinIsrael in Tel Aviv.

A word of warning. Since GlucoTrack uses indirect measurement and readings may get affected by noise inside the body and wind and temperatures beyond a range of 15 to 35 degrees Celsius, it can only be used indoors and alerts the user if the readings are being taken at sub-optimal temperatures.

“GlucoTrack DF-F is meant only adults with Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes,” says Gal, who is now working on a device for type1 diabetes that shows higher fluctuations.

The cost of the device is $2,000 and the ear clip costs $180 in Europe, but the price for India is not yet fixed. It is undergoing regulatory trials for US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

Managing blood sugar fluctuations is getting easier too, with monitors the size of a thumb drive and a cellphone being used to track glucose fluctuations and manage diabetes, which saw close to 70 million people in India being affected in 2015.

Diabetes-related complications such as heart disease, vascular and kidney damage kill an estimated 800,000 people in India each year, estimates the International Diabetes Federation, which makes managing the disease vital.

“GlucoMe is a digital diabetes care platform that records glucose measurements and insulin doses on cloud using the patient’s iOS or Android smartphone and send actionable realtime alerts and compliance recommendations to optimise diabetes control,” said Yiftah Ben Aharon, CEO, GlucoMe.

“It improves adherence and ensures compliance to medicine and dietary recommendation through remote-monitoring,” said Aharon.

Using data stored in the device, doctors can review and personalise diabetes management, which has made the system popular with physicians.

“We don’t sell directly to patients, but work through doctors who use it to remotely monitor patient condition, adjust treatment plans and send recommendations real-time, irrespective of where the patient is.”