Nokia has recently applied for a patent on a patch you can apply to your skin that will vibrate when you get a call or text. In addition to this haptic patch, this patent also covers using ferromagnetic ink in a tattoo, which would cause the tattoo to vibrate in response to electromagnetic signals sent from your phone or other device. This got me thinking; could this technology be applied to diabetes tech? Yes, it can! Below are a few applications for this technology that could make “diabeetus life” easier to deal with.
- You could sync this patch/tattoo with a continuous glucose meter. Then, it could be set to vibrate when your blood sugar was either too low or too high. Since this haptic patch can be set to emit different vibration patterns, distinct patterns could be used to easily differentiate between low or high blood sugar levels. As a bonus, depending on placement of the patch, this could be hidden underneath clothing so it’s not on display for everyone to see.
- If linked to an insulin pump, the patch could serve multiple functions, possibly vibrating to remind you to check your sugar after eating, or when boluses are done. In addition to the various vibration patterns mentioned above, bolus notifications (the end of a square wave bolus, or parts of a dual wave blous) could be easily transmitted.
- Finally, it would be great to see this patent combined with another recent development involving a nanosensor tattoo that can be used to monitor blood sugar. Ideally, these two sensors could be incorporated into a single diabetic tattoo, which means you could take blood sugar readings and get feedback from a single sensor on your body.
These are just first thoughts, and I’m really looking forward to what these engineers and scientists come up with as they move forward with practical applications of these ideas.
What do you think; did I miss something? Can you think of another way to use these patents to make living with diabetes easier?