Diabetes is a serious disease that can affect the heart, kidneys and eyes, as well as cause damage to nerves, leading to diabetic neuropathy. There were 1.5 million deaths attributed to diabetes in 2012, the World Health Organization estimates, and by 2030 it will be the seventh leading cause of death. 1
Innovative solutions to combat diabetes are badly needed. Below are five that make the top list.
)1) Google Smart Contact Lens
The company that made smart glasses has followed up with a smart contact lens that can measure glucose levels in a diabetic’s tears. The lens is not available yet for purchase. Its invention is the result of major advancements in electronics, and the ability to manufacture miniaturized glucose sensing technologies.
The lens has a small pinhole that allows tears to contact a sensor located in an area that avoids the iris and the pupil. The sensor detects glucose levels and transmits the reading to a smart phone. Google has partnered with Novartis to bring the lens to market in what is hoped will be the not-too-distant future.
2) FreeStyle® Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System
In August, 2014, Abbott Laboratories began selling FreeStyle® Libre in Europe. The device monitors glucose levels continuously through a tiny sensor that contacts the skin from inside a waterproof plastic patch.
The sensor is as thin as a human hair and is intended to work for 14 days. The patch is worn on the upper arm. Using the FreeStyle® Libre means that diabetics no longer have to keep checking their blood sugar with finger sticks. Users can read their glucose levels in real time on the device’s screen.
It is currently only selling in Europe. It's estimated that the FreeStyle® Libre could be available in the United States in 2016.
3) Artificial Pancreas
An artificial pancreas is a man-made device designed to release insulin in response to rising glucose levels. Currently there are a few teams in different countries with similar products in development.Read more in Diabetes Health Center