Welcome!

News Feed Item

Check Your Glucose on your Wrist: New Biometric Watches Use Light to Non-Invasively Monitor Vital Signs

Monitoring a patient’s vital signs and other physiological parameters is a standard part of medical care, but, increasingly, health and fitness-minded individuals are looking for ways to easily keep their own tabs on these measurements. Enter the biometric watch.

The new glucose- and dehydration-monitoring “watch,” strapped to a subject’s wrist and connected to  ...

The new glucose- and dehydration-monitoring “watch,” strapped to a subject’s wrist and connected to a computer for readout. Credit: Biomedical Optics Express.

In a pair of papers published in The Optical Society’s (OSA) open-access journal Biomedical Optics Express, groups of researchers from the Netherlands and Israel describe two new wearable devices that use changing patterns of scattered light to monitor biometrics: one tracks glucose concentration and dehydration levels, and the other monitors pulse.

The glucose sensor is the first wearable device that can measure glucose concentration directly but noninvasively, the authors say.

And while other wearable devices have been made to monitor pulse, the authors claim their new design would be less sensitive to errors when the wearer is in motion, for example while walking or playing sports.

Both of the watches described in the two papers make use of the so-called “speckle” effect, the grainy interference patterns that are produced on images when laser light reflects from an uneven surface or scatters from an opaque material. When the material that is scattering the light is moving—say, in the case of blood flowing through the circulatory system—“the speckle pattern changes with changes in the flow,” explained biomedical engineer Mahsa Nemati, a graduate student in the Optics Research Group at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and the lead author of the Biomedical Optics Express paper on monitoring pulse. Those light variations are a valuable source of information, she says.

The ‘Holy Grail’ of Diagnostics

In the first paper, bioengineer Zeev Zalevsky of Israel’s Bar-Ilan University and his colleagues describe a new wearable biometric system that uses the speckle effect to directly monitor the glucose concentration in the bloodstream, as well as the wearer’s relative hydration level.

“Glucose is the holy grail of the world of biomedical diagnostics, and dehydration is a very useful parameter in the field of wellness, which is one of our main commercial aims,” Zalevsky said.

The watch-like device consists of a laser to generate a wavefront of light that illuminates a patch of skin on the wrist near an artery, and a camera that measures changes over time in the light that is backscattered off the skin. Unlike other chemicals present in the blood, glucose exhibits a so-called Faraday effect. This means that in the presence of an external magnetic field (generated by a magnet attached to the device) the glucose molecule alters the polarization of the wavefront and thus influences the resulting speckle patterns. Analyzing these changing patterns provides a direct measurement of the glucose concentration. Because one of the main signs of mild to moderate dehydration is muscle weakness, which will alter the strength of the signals, the same device can also be used to indicate the relative dehydration level of the user as it changes over time.

Zalevsky and his colleagues are now working to reduce the margin of error in the device’s readings. “Around 96 percent of our in vivo measurements were within a range of 15 percent deviation from the readout of a medical reference glucometer device,” Zalevsky noted. “The main factor for errors now is the stability of our device on the wrist of the user. We are currently investing efforts in deriving proper calibration and motion cancellation procedures that will allow us to reduce this sensitivity.”

Zalevsky says this is the first step toward non-invasive, continuous in vivo measurement of glucose that is based on sensing an effect that is directly related to glucose concentration. The team expects a commercial version of the device to reach the market within two to three years.

Pulse Tracker

In the second Biomedical Optics Express paper, published today, Nemati and her colleagues at Delft and at Phillips Research developed a method that could be used to monitor pulse non-invasively with a sensor that isn’t thrown off by the wearer’s movement.

Using simulated heart beats generated in milk and measurements performed on the finger of a volunteer, they found that speckle changes can be used to accurately measure flow pulsations—that is, the heart rate—even when the light source used to create the speckle pattern is also moving, as would be the case with a wearable biometric sensor. The researchers found that just a couple of pixels from the image were sufficient to extract the pulse rate.

“This paper shows for the first time that a speckle pattern generated from a flowing liquid can give us the pulsation properties of the flow in spite of motion-induced artifacts,” Nemati said. “Sophisticated optics is not necessary to implement this, so the costs for devices can be kept low. Another advantage is that the devices can be non-contact or far from the sample,” she added.

The team is currently working with companies to integrate their motion-friendly pulse-monitoring technique into existing sensors, for potential use clinically as well as in sports, Nemati said.

Papers:

Improved noncontact optical sensor for detection of glucose concentration and indication of dehydration level,” N. Ozana et al., Biomedical Optics Express, Vol. 5, Issue 6, pp. 1926-1940 (2014).

Dynamic light scattering from pulsatile flow in the presence of induced motion artifacts,” M. Nemati et al., Biomedical Optics Express, vol. 5, Issue 7, pp. 2145-2156 (2014).

EDITOR’S NOTE: Images are available to members of the media upon request. Contact Angela Stark, [email protected].

About Biomedical Optics Express

Biomedical Optics Express is OSA’s principal outlet for serving the biomedical optics community with rapid, open-access, peer-reviewed papers related to optics, photonics and imaging in the life sciences. The journal scope encompasses theoretical modeling and simulations, technology development, and biomedical studies and clinical applications. It is published by The Optical Society and edited by Joseph A. Izatt of Duke University. Biomedical Optics Express is an open-access journal and is available at no cost to readers online at www.OpticsInfoBase.org/BOE.

About OSA

Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional society for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-world applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership programs, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of professionals in optics and photonics. For more information, visit www.osa.org.

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, will provide a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services ...
Imagine having the ability to leverage all of your current technology and to be able to compose it into one resource pool. Now imagine, as your business grows, not having to deploy a complete new appliance to scale your infrastructure. Also imagine a true multi-cloud capability that allows live migration without any modification between cloud environments regardless of whether that cloud is your private cloud or your public AWS, Azure or Google instance. Now think of a world that is not locked i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Auditwerx will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Auditwerx specializes in SOC 1, SOC 2, and SOC 3 attestation services throughout the U.S. and Canada. As a division of Carr, Riggs & Ingram (CRI), one of the top 20 largest CPA firms nationally, you can expect the resources, skills, and experience of a much larger firm combined with the accessibility and atten...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), will provide an overview of various initiatives to certifiy the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldw...
MongoDB Atlas leverages VPC peering for AWS, a service that allows multiple VPC networks to interact. This includes VPCs that belong to other AWS account holders. By performing cross account VPC peering, users ensure networks that host and communicate their data are secure. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Jay Gordon, a Developer Advocate at MongoDB, will explain how to properly architect your VPC using existing AWS tools and then peer with your MongoDB Atlas cluster. He'll discuss the secur...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, an entertainment executive/TV producer turned serial entrepreneur, will present a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to m...
Deep learning has been very successful in social sciences and specially areas where there is a lot of data. Trading is another field that can be viewed as social science with a lot of data. With the advent of Deep Learning and Big Data technologies for efficient computation, we are finally able to use the same methods in investment management as we would in face recognition or in making chat-bots. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Gaurav Chakravorty, co-founder and Head of Strategy Development ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
What if you could build a web application that could support true web-scale traffic without having to ever provision or manage a single server? Sounds magical, and it is! In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Munns, Senior Developer Advocate for Serverless Applications at Amazon Web Services, will show how to build a serverless website that scales automatically using services like AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and Amazon S3. We will review several frameworks that can help you build serverle...