While smartphones have been gaining all kinds of features such as GPS, barometry, and depth perception, diabetics are probably wondering why glucometers are still stand-alone devices. Well, this may be changing too, as researchers at University of California San Diego have developed a glucose meter that’s built into a smartphone case, and that may one day become an actual part of a production phone.
The sensor of the so-called GPhone is reusable, but it does require single-use enzyme-carbon composite pellets containing glucose oxidase that are placed on the top of the sensor before a drop of blood is added. The pellets come inside a stylus that dispenses them one at a time. They’re magnetic, and so stick to the metal bare strip sensor of the new glucometer. The sensor, coupled with an electronics package inside the phone’s case, measures the electrical signal generated by the reaction of the glucose in the blood with the pellets, wirelessly transmitting the result to the smartphone. From there an app can manage the readings, let you share them, and do all the other things today’s diabetes apps do. This has all been accomplished in a working proof-of-concept device model, but there will be challenges to reduce the cost of the individual pellets and perhaps improve their usability.
The development of the GPhone technology can be a pretty big deal for diabetics, as loosing glucometer can be a considerable health risk and schlepping it around with you in a purse or pocket is not always an ideal situation.
Study in journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics: Re-usable electrochemical glucose sensors integrated into a smartphone platform…