Japanese startup to demo non-invasive glucose wristband at CES 2022

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A startup from Japan will be demoing a non-invasive glucose monitor at CES Unveiled, CES 2022 and Showstoppers. At last year’s CES they showed off a prototype.

Non-invasive glucose monitoring is considered to be the holy grail of diabetes treatment. Quite a few big-name brands have tried to crack the problem with little to show. For now, diabetes patients still have no accurate alternative to piercing the skin.

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It has been rumored for some time now that Apple is working on sensors that non-invasively and continuously monitor blood sugar levels. The company’s quest to develop the sensors was motivated by Steve Jobs’s own troubles, who in the final years of his life was coping with diabetes as well as cancer.

“In the last months of Steve Jobs’s life, the Apple co-founder fought cancer while managing diabetes,” writes the New York Times.

Because he hated pricking his finger to draw blood, Mr. Jobs authorized an Apple research team to develop a noninvasive glucose reader with technology that could potentially be incorporated into a wristwatch, according to people familiar with the event.”

Other solutions may be around the corner, too. One of these comes from Rockley Photonics. We’ve written extensively about their spectometer-on-chip platform that will allow for glucose tracking along with a plethora of other metrics. The hope is that these sensors will be built into everyday wearables sometime in 2022.


Quantum Operations non-invasive glucose wristband

But Tokyo-based Quantum Operations Inc wants to beat everyone to the punch. They say they have a novel wrist-based device that can continuously track glucose in a person’s bloodstream through the skin, in addition to heart rate and ECG. The brains are the spectrum sensing technology which is built both into the watch and its band.

Simply strap it to your wrist, and choose the glucose monitoring option from the menu. The first results will take around 20 seconds.

“Until now, sticking a need into your finger or arm has been the only available method for accurately measuring your glucose level.” said Quantum Operation CEO Kazuma Kato.

“Our wristband will change that, making the painful daily routine unnecessary for all diabetic patients.”

At last year’s CES the company showed off a prototype. At the time they said there’s still some way to go before the accuracy is up to par with traditional devices.

The company will be back at CES 2022 showcasing what they are calling is the “world’s first non-invasive glucometer in the form of a wristband that is capable of non-stop monitoring”. This year they picked up a CES 2022 Innovation Award in the ”Health & Wellness” category. 

Like Rockley Photonics solution, the Quantum Operation device uses patented spectrum sensing technology to measure glucose in a person’s bloodstream through the skin. Users will be able to monitor changes in pre and post-meal blood glucose levels, along with heart rate, blood oxygen saturation and more.

”Although checking one’s blood glucose level both before and after a meal is important, that adds to patients’ already taxing daily routine of sticking a needle into their fingers or arms so many times a day. We are thrilled to be able to make this all pain-free and effortless for them,” Quantum Operation CEO Kazuma Kato said.

“Diabetes affect 463 million people worldwide, causing 1.5 million deaths from it each year. We are thrilled to demonstrate at CES 2022 how our technology can revolutionize the patients’ daily disease management.” 

The ultimate goal is to sell the hardware to insurers and healthcare providers. Quantum Operations also want to build a big data platform. This will be used to collate and analyze information collected by their glucose monitors.

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