Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Wearable diabetes tracker monitors blood painlessly

Steve Rogerson
July 20, 2017



PKVitality, a French company specialising in bio-wearables, is taking pre-orders for its K’Watch Glucose connected bracelet, a tracker that lets diabetics monitor glucose levels painlessly without taking blood.
 
First deliveries are planned for 2018, once the process of medical certification is completed.
 
PKVitality is an affiliate of PKParis, a French company specialising in smart premium nomad connected objects. Previewed at CES in January, the K’Watch Glucose is a tracker aimed at diabetics that can analyse the glucose level by simply tasting the skin rather than taking blood samples, as other devices do today.
 
The company fused its expertise along with 20 years of biological research to bring its miniaturised SkinTaste technology to market. SkinTaste is a biosensor array that uses micro-needles less than 0.5mm long to collect and analyse chemical compositions of the interstitial fluid found just below the surface of the skin. Contained in a K’apsul, it is integrated in several devices such as watches or armbands and is available in several versions to allow the analysis of a specific number of biomarkers.
 
K’Watch Glucose is said to be the first precise device that monitors glucose levels, without the need to take any blood or rely on multiple and complicated monitoring devices. It combines the elegance and utility of a traditional activity tracker with the vital and essential information provided by a medical device.
 
The SkinTaste technology contained within the K’apsul works by inserting tiny micro-needles into the skin to probe interstitial fluid, a solution that surrounds the tissue cells. On average 16% of a person’s body weight – 10 litres for the average person – is made up of this liquid, which provides cells with nutrients and a means of waste removal. This fluid contains several biomarkers such as glucose, which the SkinTaste biosensor analyses.
 
At the touch of a button, the probes penetrate this layer and pump a tiny drop of interstitial fluid into the wearable device for chemical analysis. While the user will feel the slight pressure of the probe pressing on their skin, they feel no pain as the sensor never reaches the pain nerves or blood vessels, which are typically 1mm or more below the epidermis. 
 
The device syncs with a dedicated iOS and Android app that shows results over time. The user can configure the alerts and set reminders either in the app or the device to avoid any measuring oversight. The device also tracks the number of steps taken, the distance travelled and the calories burned every day.
 
Winner of the Tech for a Better World and honouree in the Wearable Technologies categories of the 2017 CES Innovation Awards, K’Watch Glucose is available to pre-order at just below €100 or  $100 with deliveries starting in 2018.