Blood sugar: How an invasive sensor will help people lose weight and live longer

A sensor that is implanted in the body to detect sugar levels in your blood will help people to lose weight and live longer, its manufacturers have said.

The sensor is inserted under the skin by a ‘place and go’ application, which the company assures us is not painful, where it detects glucose levels electrochemically.

Made by Glucovation, it lasts seven days broadcasting the stats to a smartphone, smartwatch or activity tracker every five minutes. This gives the user a guide to how their glucose levels are impacted by what they eat.

CEO Robert Boock told Factor the technology can help people to lose weight or tell when they are going to crash from a lack of sugar.

He also claimed that it is more accurate that wearable technology that is strapped on the body as it has access to what is happening inside.

Boock said: “This data is coming from your body and it’s exactly what is happening in your at that particular moment. Here’s something where you get the information about your body and you can get the information and you can respond to it.

“If you can basically manage to control your blood glucose and keep it in a narrower range, keep it a lot more moderated you can actually lose weight, you can feel better, you can do all of the things that the premise of an activity tracker for the average consumer.”

glucovation

The data provided by the device is then distilled into information that the user can understand and be used to change a lifestyle. This includes reducing glucose variability which can lead to a longer life.

Blood sugar variability has been linked to cardiovascular disease and increased mortality.

Glucovation are currently running a crowdfunding campaign to help develop the product further. The company includes three former members Dexcom who created blood sugar measuring devices for diabetics.

The company has high ambitions for the future as they want to make the sensor a launch pad for them to build on so they are able to help monitor other levels in the body.

“If we can accomplish our goals with glucose we can basically start to add other metaboli. If you were to talk about an elite athlete we can add things like lactate, we can do continuous lactate with the glucose.

“If you’re talking about a dietary market we may be able to monitor fatty acids, we can give you a lot more information with a combination centre,” Boock said.

He added: “If we really look ahead what we’re looking at is that we’re trying to develop a platform technology that we can get out to people and we can start to add a whole bunch of other metaboli so we can give you a much more rounded picture of what’s happening in your body and tailored to what you want to know.”

However it is possible users would be put off by the need to put the sensor inside of the body.

Boock says it gives more accurate results and provides a better kind of wearable technology than those that are simply strapped on.

This could mean a future where we need to insert wearable technology into our body if we want to receive real-time data on our health and how our body is performing.

Boock said: “It is a minimally invasive sensor and that’s kind of the price you have to pay for real science. I know there’s a lot of companies out there on some of the other crowd funding sites that are really trying to push that they’re a non-invasive technologies and things like that for measuring glucose.

“There isn’t a non-invasive technology that I know of that works. This is a really great product for people that really want to understand what’s going on with their metabolism.”


Image two courtesy of Glucovation


WHO: Antibiotic resistance is now a major threat to public health

If immediate action is not taken, we risk falling into a post-antibiotic era where everyday infections and injuries can kill once again, according to a report released today by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“This serious threat is no longer a prediction for the future, it is happening right now in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country,” said WHO in a media announcement.

This is the first time that the organization, which is the United Nation’s primary body for international public health, has looked at antimicrobial, and therefore antibiotic, resistance on a global scale, and the results are damning.

“Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill,” said WHO’s assistant director-general for health security Dr Keiji Fukuda.

gonorrhoea

Antibiotic resistance is a growing concern, as bacteria can rapidly evolve to become resistant to over-used treatments. While the over-use of certain drugs is partly to blame, the increasing use of antibiotics in animals intended for human consumption has also played a part.

The report found that resistance to carbapenem antibiotics, used as last-resort treatments when no other antibacterial medicine has worked, has spread worldwide. This is caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteria, which is behind many hospital-acquired infections such as pneumonia.

Other specific widespread resistances include a treatment for E. coli, which has gone from having a resistance level of zero in the 1980s to over 50% in some parts of the world.

There’s bad news too for condom forgetters everywhere; the last-resort treatment for gonorrhoea has been confirmed as treatment failure in ten countries, including Australia, the UK and Canada, and WHO warns that 1 million people get infected every single day.

“Effective antibiotics have been one of the pillars allowing us to live longer, live healthier, and benefit from modern medicine,” explained Fukuda.

“Unless we take significant actions to improve efforts to prevent infections and also change how we produce, prescribe and use antibiotics, the world will lose more and more of these global public health goods and the implications will be devastating.”

mrsa

Concerningly, WHO reports that basic tools in the fight against antibiotic resistance are missing in many parts of the world. The organization believes that “ every country and individual needs to do more”, and is using the report to initiate a global fight against the issue.

For normal people, WHO is reminding people to only use antibiotics when prescribed by a doctor, always complete the full prescription no matter how well you feel and never use leftover or shared prescriptions.

Health workers are asked to enhance infection control and prevention, hold back on prescribing unless absolutely necessary and only prescribe the right antibiotics for the illness.

Governments, however, are being asked to pony up for better laboratories and resistance tracking facilities, promote appropriate medicine use and fund the research and development of tools to fight antibiotic resistance.