A stealthy startup by the name of LifePlus has officially made its entrance into the health wearables field with a smartwatch called LifeLeaf that's able to monitor a user's blood glucose level in a non-invasive fashion. This industry-first device works by way of special Photo-PlethysmoGraph technology and an accompanying deep learning algorithm. This means that the wearable can use light from existing sensors on the device to continuously measure blood glucose. To be specific, these are the same sensors it uses to monitor things like heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen concentration. There's an accompanying mobile app used to keep track of everything and get information on any issues the wearable finds. The AI calculations behind the glucose monitoring, meanwhile, happen in the cloud.
LifeLeaf's claim to fame is non-invasive glucose monitoring, a first in its field, but the same AI pulls double duty as a diagnostic aide. It can detect things like COPD, hypertension, and sleep apnea, among other ailments. The AI's accuracy and list of talents will only grow over time; it uses a deep learning algorithm that will make it more and more knowledgeable with each successful diagnosis. The companion mobile app shows a user's data over time, current stats, and any alerts from LifePlus. Those same alerts and other notifications can be pushed directly to the LifeLeaf smartwatch.
LifeLeaf is currently in limited testing, but if the final product delivers and makes it to the consumer market, it will be the first of its kind in the world. Not only will it give diabetics the ability to monitor blood glucose on an ongoing basis, it will represent a pain-free, needle-free option that's vastly preferable to what most diabetics currently have to use. It is worth noting that this well-hidden startup seems to have beaten Alphabet to the punch in this regard; the internet giant's health company, Verily, is working on a slightly more invasive solution that's otherwise along similar lines. This means that LifePlus could end up seeing a buyout offer from Verily in the near future, but more importantly, it means that consumers will, if all goes according to plan, be able to get their hands on this potentially life-saving technology even sooner than they would have with Alphabet on the case.