Many people today have watches that can monitor their heart rate and other signs, but would you buy a watch that could monitor your blood? The folks over at Google think so, and that’s why they’ve partnered with German hardware company Infineon and engineers from the University of Waterloo in Canada.
The Waterloo engineers are working on a system to detect glucose level changes in a liquid without taking a sample of the liquid itself.
Basically, like a radar, high-frequency radio waves are sent into the liquid, and based on how the waves are reflected back, a computer can determine how much glucose is in the liquid. If you have diabetes, this would mean no more blood samples and no more pricked fingers.
So far, the team’s tests have been 85 percent as accurate as the more painful, traditional methods of blood testing, according to results published in The International Journal of Mobile Human Computer Interaction.
The findings indicate that detecting changes in blood accurately with radio waves is possible; putting that technology into a watch is the bigger challenge. The current version of the device is too large to be worn, and they have not developed a portable scanner that can see through human skin.
Right now, the machine sends its data to another computer to read. For the proposed smart watch to be practical, it would have to fit on the wrist, scan your blood through skin and interpret the data with no outside help.
Sounds complicated? The engineers hope to have a working model on the market within the next five years. And beyond that, who knows? Maybe one day getting blood work will be as simple as telling the time.