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Biomedical Engineers at Apple team is developing sensors to monitor Diabetes

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New York, April 13, 2017: A secret team of biomedical engineers at Apple is working on an initiative to develop sensors that can non-invasively and continuously monitor blood sugar levels to better treat diabetes.

According to a report by CNBC on Wednesday, the team is working at a non-descript office, miles from corporate headquarters. The initiative was envisioned by the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

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If such sensors are successfully developed, that would be a breakthrough as it is highly challenging to track glucose levels accurately without piercing the skin. It can help millions of people turn devices like Apple Watch into a must-have.

“The initiative is far enough along that Apple has been conducting feasibility trials at clinical sites across the Bay Area and has hired consultants to help it figure out the regulatory pathways,” the report quoted anonymous people related to Apple as saying.

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Jobs had envisioned that wearable devices, like smartwatches, could be used to monitor oxygen levels, heart rate and blood glucose.

Apple is developing optical sensors, which involves shining a light through the skin to measure indications of glucose, the report noted. (IANS)

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How social isolation causes diabetes

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A new research found that social isolation could lead to diabetes. Pixabay
A new research found that social isolation could lead to diabetes. Pixabay

This study on diabetes was published in the journal BMC Public Health, the team involved 2,861 men and women aged 40 to 75 years.

Findings

  • Men and women who are not active socially and remain isolated may be at an increased risk than individuals with larger social networks.
  • A lack of social participation was associated with 60 per cent higher odds of pre-diabetes and 112 per cent higher odds of Type 2 diabetes in women compared to those with normal glucose metabolism.
  • Men who lack social participation in clubs and groups had a 42 per cent higher risk of Type 2 diabetes, while those living alone had 94 per cent higher risk.
  • The study is the first to determine the association of a broad range of social network characteristics — such as social support, network size or type of relationships — with different stages of Type 2 diabetes.
1.7 million people aged 20 years or older were newly diagnosed with diabetes. Pixabay
1.7 million people aged 20 years or older were newly diagnosed with diabetes. Pixabay

“As men living alone seem to be at a higher risk for the development of type 2, they should become recognised as a high risk group in health care. Social network size and participation in social activities may eventually be used as indicators of diabetes risk,” said co-author Miranda Schram, from the varsity.

Early changes in glucose metabolism may cause non-specific complaints such as tiredness and feeling unwell, which may explain why individuals limit their social participation.

Promoting social integration and participation may be a promising target in prevention strategies for type 2, the researchers suggested.

“Our findings support the idea that resolving social isolation may help prevent the development of Type 2,” said lead author Stephanie Brinkhues, from the Maastricht University Medical Centre, in the Netherlands.

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