It has been announced that the life sciences team at Google will be joining forces with DexCom, a company specializing in glucose monitoring devices, to develop a new low-cost bandage-sized sensor for people with diabetes. In addition to being small and low-cost, the new wearable sensor will be disposable and usable by people with all types of diabetes. The device will be connected to the Cloud and provide real-time information.
DexCom said that the aim of the partnership is to develop next-generation continuous glucose monitoring products that will be "substantially smaller and much less expensive than existing technologies."
"This collaboration is another step toward expanding monitoring options and making it easier for people with diabetes to proactively manage their health," said Andrew Conrad, head of the life sciences team at Google.
Although a serious disease, diabetes can be managed with appropriate levels of physical activity, diet and medication. As a result, keeping track of personal glucose levels is crucial. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 25 percent of people with diabetes were unaware that they were affected by the disorder.
DexCom and Google want to make a device that will eventually become the standard of care for patients with diabetes, eventually replacing the finger-stick glucometer.
The bandage-sized glucose monitoring device does not represent Google's first foray into the world of medical devices, however. In June, their life sciences group revealed they had developed a health tracking wristband for measuring heart rhythm, pulse and skin temperature.
And just last month, Google announced another partnership, this time with pharmaceutical company Novartis to develop a contact lens capable of monitoring the blood sugar levels of its wearer. The glucose-monitoring contact lens is estimated to take a few years to develop, as is the wearable sensor being developed by Google and DexCom.