SINGAPORE (19 December 2017) – With the combined efforts by doctors and researchers from Republic Polytechnic and KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, the world’s first non-invasive blood glucose monitoring technology using Photoplethysmography (PPG) sensors is now available. Activate Interactive Pte Ltd (“Activate”) is licensed to commercialize and bring to market this innovative, non-invasive technology. This technology can be incorporated into softwares, hardware sensor modules or even wearable lifestyle devices (such as an activity tracker) to monitor a human body’s glucose levels.
Currently, the use of a blood glucometer is the most commonly practiced method for people with diabetes, which involves finger pricks to gather test results via blood samples. This method is invasive, painful, inconvenient and could cost up to an estimated $20 or more per week for the strips. An alternative is the continuous blood glucose monitoring device which has a high initial and maintenance cost – potentially requiring up to $1,200 per device, while a weekly consumable could cost up to $100.
“To us, it has always been about bringing affordable technology that’s beneficial to the people. With the PPG sensor already widely available in the market, it is a natural move to the next step: to enable PPG sensors to carry out non-invasive blood glucose monitoring,” shares Joel Chin, CEO of Activate. “We are really excited to share that phase one of the research and human trial has shown encouraging results of up to 83.3% accuracy. We foresee that this technology is going to help a lot of people by heightening their awareness, detect and start managing diabetic risks at an early stage.” Following this successful trial, Activate has plans to transfer this technology into smart wearables by Q3 2018, thus enabling even more people to monitor their health easily, in the nation’s war against diabetes.
Singapore’s War Against Diabetes
Diabetes is a real concern in Singapore. In his National Day Rally speech earlier this year, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong revealed that over 400,000 Singaporeans have the disease, and urged the nation to go for regular medical check-ups. One group of people who should especially heed the PM’s call are the pre-diabetics: people who have higher than normal blood glucose (blood sugar) levels, but which is not high enough to be considered diabetes. In addition to this condition being asymptomatic (usually showing no symptoms), pre-diabetics are also at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Without good disease management, diabetes complications such as stroke, kidney failure, heart attack, blindness, and lower limb amputation may occur. While these may look intimidating, the good news is that these risks may be minimised through good control of blood glucose level – a key part of diabetes self-management.
Managing Diabetes, The Smart Way
The novelty of this technology lies in the fact that there are no known non-invasion monitoring devices for blood glucose levels as of yet, and that can also be trusted for accuracy. Extremely adaptable, the technology has enabled not just Activate, but even manufacturer of fitness trackers, hardware sensor modules makers and software developers to harness and magnify the benefits of this invention to the masses.
Once incorporated into a device, the technology functions very much like a modern fitness tracker or smart watch.
Where collecting data used to require painful pricks for blood glucose strip tests, or via a continuous blood glucose monitoring system – all those conventional ways can now all be complemented with this non-invasive technology - that is poised to serve as an invaluable assistant to the community, complementing existing doctor visits for a holistic health routine.
Activate is seeking like-minded partners to commercialise, produce and distribute products and services that monitor and trace blood glucose level of individuals using this non-invasive technology, and is open to discussing various levels of research consultation and/or collaboration even as this research advances into the future.
Activate Interactive Pte. Ltd. (“Activate”) is the leading digital health company in Singapore, providing products and services that impact the everyday lives of people. Mobile applications and services developed by Activate are used by hundreds of thousands of consumers globally. Activate continues to innovate through research and collaboration with academia and industry professionals in the fitness and medical industries. Activate also partnered with its associate Actxa (www.actxa.com) to launch innovative products such as activity trackers and a smart scale with the single motivation to empower customers to embark on healthy lifestyles. Actxa is the Official Technology Partner of the National Steps Challengeä, a nationwide “get active” programme with more than 400,000 participants.
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