New “needle-free” patent reveals wearable device that could help diabetes sufferers
Google wants to develop a wearable device that is able to draw your blood without the need for needles.
A patent for a “needle-free blood draw” system that can be fitted to a smartwatch was registered by Google last year, but has only now been revealed, although it is yet to be approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The system would be ideal for those dealing with conditions such as diabetes, as it would allow for regular monitoring of blood sugar levels without the need for constant intrusive measurements.
According to the patent, blood is extracted by sending an “abrupt surge” of gas into a small barrel, which contains a ‘micro-particle’ capable of piercing an extremely small area of the skin.
Once a droplet of blood is released, it is sucked into the vial by the negative pressure inside the barrel, meaning the process is quicker than using either a needle or traditional blood glucose meter.
The patent application also shows a similar device being used on a finger, much like traditional finger pricking to gain a blood sample, demonstrating that this is something Google is seriously considering. However it seems the company isn’t planning on releasing the device just yet.
“We hold patents on a variety of ideas – some of those ideas later mature into real products or services, some don’t,” the company said in a statement.
“Prospective product announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patents.”
The device could well form part of a future release cycle for Life Sciences, the future-gazing research and development business spun off by Google back in August as part of the restructuring under the new Alphabet umbrella company.
Formerly part of Google X, Life Sciences will concentrate on disease prevention and cures, which has also recently been involved with products including a possible wearable band cancer detecting system and glucose monitoring contact lenses.
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