Feature Story

New wearables revolutionize detection of health issues

by Stephanie Chan

New wearables revolutionize detection of health issues

Can wearables like smartwatches and smart contact lenses change the future of diabetes?

It may soon be possible for diabetes patients to track glucose levels without having to pierce their skin. This blood-free method could be a game changer—and Apple is working to make this happen.

CNBC reports that Apple has hired biomedical engineers to create wearable devices that can monitor vitals like oxygen levels, heart rate, and blood glucose. Imagine the Apple Watch with sensor technologies that can help track crucial aspects of your health and wellness—this may mean a revolutionary factor for sales of Apple's wearable device.

Google is also taking on the smart device project for people with diabetes. Independent writes that the company is working on a new contact lens that can test blood glucose levels through people's tears. Instead of having to test their blood a few times a day, diagnosed diabetes patients can rely on these contacts; transparent biosensors that can detect pH, acidity, and even glucose levels.

Health and wellness is an exploding field in the tech industry, with companies becoming keen on helping users with their most base concerns and needs. The 2017 Consumer Electronics Show was filled with new health devices. Mobi Health News reports that UK-based Bodytrak is developing earbuds that can help track users' body temperature. Kolibree is even coming out with a smart toothbrush—a device called Ara that collects data about your teeth every time you brush.

Breast cancer screening is also getting the revolutionary wearable treatment. The iTBra is a wearable created with patches that can be worn inside any normal bra. The sensors in these patches can detect changes in breast temperature over time, which correlates to accelerated cell activity.

Cisco, in partnership with Ironbound Films, has created a documentary on the iTBra called Detected. This film follows Cyrcadia Health CEO Rob Royea on a journey to develop this new sensor technology. You can now catch screenings at the 2017 International Film Festival in Boston, Thursday April 27th, at the Somerville Theater.