Startup LifePlus has announced a new wearable dubbed “LifeLeaf,” which it claims is the world’s first non-invasive continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) wearable device. On top of monitoring blood glucose levels, this multi-sensor device tracks blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate, cardiac arrhythmia, sleep apnea, and oxygen saturation.
Although the company hasn’t given details on how exactly the technology works, LifePlus has said the product is undergoing five clinical trials across the globe.
“We have been in stealth mode and today we are thrilled to announce the introduction of LifeLeaf as part of the burgeoning medical wearables category,” said John Trobough, executive chairman of the board and White House Innovation Fellow. “Managing diabetes and other chronic diseases requires early and timely detection, rapid intervention, and high compliance. LifeLeaf exceeds those requirements with its patent-pending open standards-based software stack and cloud-based analytics. LifeLeaf is different from any other product and software technology available — it is truly unique and we are excited to make this multi-sensor capability available to companies and developers globally.”
How Does LifeLeaf Work?
LifePlus uses commercial sensors currently being used in many wearables. The difference, the company says is that it has found a way to utilize light from existing sensors to better separate glucose in the blood. The device then takes the isolated data and employs machine learning and artificial intelligence to deliver tracking metrics. The idea is to actually find a way to better use existing sensors rather than making a new one, and the company says it’s been working on this perception for years.
As of now, LifeLeaf and LifePlus haven’t been cleared by the FDA. While the company claims to have the world’s first noninvasive CGM multi-sensor wearable, it should be noted that other companies like Prediktor Medical is also currently developing and testing identical noninvasive continuous glucose monitoring wearables.
CGMs have been on the market for a while, but until now no company has announced a noninvasive CGM despite the many tech giants that have joined the race. At the start of the year, for example, Fitbit invested $6 million in Sano, a glucose monitoring startup, which is developing a mobile app and sensor that will enable users to continuously monitor blood glucose levels.
In April of last year, it was reported that tech giant Apple had a small team committed to diabetes study that had been working for a few years. Yet, in spite of the efforts by heavyweights in the industry, a non-invasive CGM has yet to hit the market.
Now, the big question is whether LifeLeaf can monitor accurately enough to give advice on insulin dosage. And, that remains to be seen.