The 'e-Mosquito' is a wearable that sucks your blood … for your own good

emosquito wearable diabetes prototype on forearm 1
When it comes to future mass-market wearable devices, an artificial blood-sucking device that’s permanently strapped to your wrist doesn’t sound like it has the makings of a “must-buy” product. But its initial sales pitch may be deceiving. In fact, a version of the so-called “e-Mosquito” could turn out to be the ultimate wearable for diabetes sufferers. And that takes its potential market from a few would-be vampire enthusiasts to the estimated 371 million people worldwide affected by the condition.

“The e-Mosquito is an unimposing, autonomous wearable device that can bite through the skin of a diabetic patient, [take a] capillary blood sample, analyze it for glucose, and report the result wirelessly to a smartphone, [the] internet, Health Watch, or the like,” Martin Mintchev, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Canada’s University of Calgary, told Digital Trends.

The project started way back in 2007 with a prototype that was roughly the size of a deck of cards. It’s now evolved into a smaller, more watch-like device, boasting a shape memory alloy (SMA)-based actuator. This has allowed the team to shrink the device, while at the same time remaining able to produce a greater penetrative force into the skin — although we’re assured it doesn’t hurt any more than an actual mosquito nip.

The new device packs a battery, LED display, actuator, and other components, while a disposable cartridge carries a needle and test strip. It can be programmed to take a sample at prearranged times, meaning that the wearer doesn’t even have to stop and think about pricking their finger for a blood sample.

There’s still plenty of work to be done, particularly if the e-Mosquito can eventually expand its use-cases to include other tests, such as genetic testing or cancer screening, as Mintchev hopes it will. For now, though, the plan is to continue working on this prototype in a way that will eventually make it saleable.

“At the moment we are working on the glucose-sensing mechanism integration, with the hope to commercialize the device as soon as possible,” Mintchev said.

Between this work, Apple’s (possible) research on diabetes-managing devices, and other tech initiatives like the University Hospital of Montpellier, France’s artificial pancreas project, things could be looking up for diabetes sufferers.

Emerging Tech

This fully autonomous $400 drone folds like a book, follows you like a paparrazzo

Having a drone that could follow you everywhere while taking high-quality images without crashing has been a flight of fantasy. With ZeroZero's Hover 2, not only can you have a fully autonomous 4K selfie drone, you can have it for $400.
Home Theater

How to make your TV squeaky clean for not much green

Not sure how to clean the LCD, OLED, or plasma display that's the cornerstone of your living room? You don't need to buy expensive cleaning solutions to clean your TV -- we'll teach you how to do it with simple household items.
Cars

Want to keep connected on the road? Here are 5 ways to add Bluetooth to your car

The best way to make an old ride feel young again is to bring it up speed with the 21st century. Here's how to properly add Bluetooth to your vehicle, via independent kits, vehicle adapters, or aftermarket head units.
Computing

How to change your Gmail password in just a few quick steps

Regularly updating your passwords is a good way to stay secure online, but each site and service has their own way of doing it. Here's a quick guide on how to change your Gmail password in a few short steps.
Web

Get rid of your Audible account by following these quick steps

Want to learn how to cancel your Audible membership? It's easier than you might think. Just follow along with these steps and you'll be rid of the audiobook listening service for good. Or until you sign up again.
Emerging Tech

These Alexa-stuffed retro phones don’t listen until you take them off the hook

Looking for an Amazon Echo with a cool vintage touch? Los Angeles-based Grain Design is taking old, non-working antique phones and transforming them into amazing Alexa smart speakers.
Smart Home

This alarm clock uses targeted light and sound to wake you, but not your partner

The Wake v2 isn't like your typical bedside alarm. Instead, it wakes you by shining a soft light directly into your face, thereby not disturbing the person sharing a bed with you. Pretty smart, huh?
Emerging Tech

Believe it or not, this fire-proof exoskeleton isn’t designed for space marines

A company called Levitate Technologies has developed a fire-resistant upper body exoskeleton that’s capable of lowering exertion levels by up to 80 percent when you carry out manual work.
Emerging Tech

Intel’s new ‘neural network on a stick’ aims to unchain A.I. from the internet

To kick off its first developer conference in Beijing, Intel unveiled the second generation of its Neural Compute Stick -- a device that promises to democratize the development of computer vision A.I. applications.
Emerging Tech

Frogs regrow ‘paddle-like’ limbs when placed in a bioreactor

Frogs have partially regrown amputated limbs thanks to a bioreactor at Tufts University. By jump-starting tissue repair, the bioreactor helped the amphibians regenerate a bigger, more complete appendages than they usually do.
Emerging Tech

Prepare for liftoff: Here are all the important upcoming SpaceX rocket launches

From ISS resupply missions to a host of communication and scientific satellite launches, SpaceX has a busy year ahead. Here's a rundown of some of the company's most important missions slated for the next year.
Emerging Tech

China says it has developed a quantum radar that can see stealth aircraft

Chinese defense giant China Electronics Technology Group Corporation claims that it has developed a quantum radar that's able to detect even the stealthiest of stealth aircraft. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Glass orb packs all the constellations in the night sky into fancy desk ornament

Ever wanted to know more about the star constellations? A stunning new Kickstarter campaign, taking the form of a fancy desk ornament that re-creates the night sky in a glass orb, aims to help.
Emerging Tech

Stronger than steel, thinner than paper, graphene could be the future of tech

Since its discovery, graphene has set the research world on fire. What exactly is it, though, and what could it mean for the future of tech? Here's everything you need to know about what could be the next supermaterial to take center stage.