Friday, 1 January 2016

Google Wants to Suck the Blood from Your Body


Google’s Patent for Needle-Free Blood Draw System

Google has filed a patent for a `needle-free blood draw’ system which could act as a wearable or a hand held device in order to draw a small amount of blood from the body. Unlike the traditional needle to draw blood, the proposed method is gas-based which tends to suck the blood in a very small barrel.

It tends to work by sending a surge of gas in a barrel containing micro particles which pierces the skin and when the blood is released from the skin, it sucks up into the negative pressure barrel. The patent which seems to be still pending indicates that the device could be utilised for testing blood sugar levels and also to take blood automatically or manually.

An example presented by Google portrayed a small cylindrical device being utilised on a person’s fingertips or as a wrist worn device, recommends a future version of Android Wear which could have enhanced biometric potentials. Google states that when the skin tends to be broken `a resulting micro-emergence of blood could be drawn into the negative pressure barrel’.

Aid Diabetics in Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels

Specific medical application for the needle free process that could be used has not been included by the company, though it could be the latest of the company’s work to aid diabetics in monitoring their blood sugar levels. The patents states that `such an application might be used to draw a small amount of blood, for example, for a glucose test’.

Patents, generally do not lead to direct development of commercial products and hence it is not known if the same would reach the market in the future. The team working at the Google’s Life Sciences, as part of the recently created parent company, Alphabet had already developed various items designed in helping diabetics.

 The lab had unveiled smart contact lenses which included circuitry to monitor glucose levels in 2014. Moreover, according to the report of Verge, it has also developed bandage sized glucose monitors that could detect sugar levels which could be disposable. Other diabetes work outside Google has seen bionic pancreas developed which could stop those with the disease and have the insulin levels monitored at all together with holographic sensors which can measure the relevant data.

Health Data – Next Big Arena

The World Health Organisation had estimated that 9% of adults above 18 years tend to live with diabetes with a total of 1.5 million deaths due to chronic disease in 2015. Google is not the only tech giant making attempts in the healthcare market.

 There are other companies who are also interested in identifying more elegant solutions to living with the condition. A company by the name of Tasso, supported by Darpa, had already developed an almost painless blood withdrawal method which does not utilise needles. Similar to the design of Google, the device of Tasso draws blood on using a vacuum.

Health data seems to be the next big arena among the tech companies with the new generation of wearable gadget enabling users in measuring heart rates, exercise activities and sleep patterns. Google seems to hold patents on various different ideas and not all would make it to the production. But the needle free blood draw device could be a big success taking into account that lots of people are very uneasy with the sight of injection being inserted into their skin.

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