It may soon be possible to monitor a person’s bloodstream without the use of painful needles or syringes.
Sano Intelligence, a part of Rock Health’s group of health start-ups in San Francisco, is working on a product that can wirelessly monitor the bloodstream with a small transdermal patch. No bigger than a nicotine patch, Sano continuously assesses basic metabolic functions, looking out for any abnormalities and alerting a doctor with any concerning results.
The patch should soon be able to measure almost any basic metabolic function including glucose and potassium levels, kidney function and electrolyte balance.
Sano’s manufacturers describe the wearable sensor as an “API for the bloodstream,” saying that information captured from the patch can be transmitted continuously to virtually any other device and then further tracked and analyzed. In the future, for example, diabetics could receive a message on their smartphones whenever their blood sugar dips too low.
Co.Exist’s Ariel Schwartz describes a few other possibilities in store for the patch:
Consider the implications for clinical trials, which only test participants periodically. Now imagine the kind of data—perhaps even leading to new drug treatments—that could be achieved by monitoring participants continuously. Doctors could also use the patch on patients with chronic disease. If they detect problems before they become a big deal, doctors could save patients from having to come into the office, or even taking a trip to the hospital.
The patch will only cost $1 or $2 per sensor (each one has a seven day lifespan) and the company’s founders say their product could be ready for release by the middle of next year.
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