Kyocera has launched the world’s first monitoring system for the precise measurement of carbohydrate metabolism. Thanks to gyro sensors, the tracker is also suitable for the lifestyle and wellness area. Commercial availability in Japan is planned for this year.
Smart, innovative and intuitive
To determine the user’s carbohydrate balance, the device must be held against the wrist one hour after eating to monitor the pulse. Mr. Ajima, an engineer at Kyocera’s medical R&D centre and developer of the device, explains: “As the carbohydrate level rises after eating, the size of the radial artery changes slightly, which produces slight shifts in how the pressure of your blood-flow rises and falls with each heartbeat. Within about ten seconds, the measurements are complete, and the app will then analyse the results, presenting them in detailed graphs and comparing the data with your past history.”
The monitoring system can help determine whether the amount of food consumed was sufficient or not. The regulation of food intake becomes easier for users and can support diets and weight management. The device is particularly suitable for people with prediabetic symptoms and nutrition-conscious users. “Looking toward the future,” Mr. Ajima adds, “we hope to expand its capabilities to monitoring fat and cholesterol. This will be an important addition to Kyocera’s product line-up, and one which has the potential to make a positive impact on all of our lives.” He was proud to be named Grand Prix Runner-Up in the Smart X category at CEATEX 2019 in Japan.
A Chance Discovery
The Carbohydrate monitoring system is the result of an accidental discovery. When smartphones started being equipped with gyro sensors, Mr. Ajima originally was inspired to try to use the smartphone itself as a health monitoring device, noting that they were sensitive enough to detect a pulse when the phone is laid against the wrist. To get a better fit and obtain more reliable data, he soon opted for developing a separate device in which the sensor could be mounted on a spring for greater sensitivity. During research, several apparent measurement errors led to Mr. Ajima discovering that the device had a precise record of changes in metabolism from one meal to the next.
From airplanes to metabolism trackers
The monitoring system works with the same gyro sensor that is used in smartphones for camera stabilization. Originally, gyro sensors were only found in airplanes and other advanced devices. However, due to the integration in smartphones, the costs dropped significantly, so that the innovation team at Kyocera began to develop new applications for this technology.