How Energy Harvesting Will Improve Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems
Over the past decade, the IoT has helped to reshape the healthcare industry. Wearable medical devices have given patients and the medical staff taking care of them an easy way to monitor their vitals and detect issues before they become serious problems. One emerging use case for wearable medical devices is continuous glucose monitoring, a relatively pain-free way to track the real-time effects of food and exercise on one’s blood glucose levels.
A continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is a compact medical system that continuously monitors one’s blood sugar levels in real time. To use a CGM, one inserts a sensor just under the skin that includes a tiny cannula. This sensor measures glucose readings in interstitial fluid (the fluid that surrounds cells in the body) continuously day and night. A transmitter that is wirelessly (e.g. Bluetooth) attached to the sensor sends glucose levels to a display device – say a mobile phone – which shows the user their blood sugar levels and can send an alert when these levels are too high or low. One problem with traditional CGM solutions is that the transmitter, pump and charger batteries need to be charged regularly since they are in constant use.
Atmosic’s ultra-low-power wireless technology solutions can help solve this problem. Atmosic’s M2 and M3 system-on-chips (SoCs) use our Controlled Energy Harvesting (M3 only), Lowest Power Radio and On-demand Wake-Up technologies to enable forever battery life, eliminating the need for battery replacement for a significantly longer period of time. This means that Atmosic-powered CGMs won’t need to be charged, and the batteries won’t need to be replaced, for the lifetime of the device. Plus, companies could even design CGMs that don’t require batteries at all, relying on Atmosic’s technology to harvest power from RF, light or heat energy sources. CGMs with forever battery life, or CGMs that run without any batteries, would be much more convenient for people to use so they don’t have to worry about their medical device running low on batteries and perhaps miss out on critical health information being captured and communicated. Furthermore, battery waste has a significant impact on the environment, so solutions that enable batteries to run for years without being replaced, or that don’t require any batteries, are much more environmentally friendly.
Another exciting benefit of using Atmosic’s solutions for CGMs is the possibility for remote monitoring. Today, the sensors and transmitters in most CGMs must be within six feet of the receiver to transmit data. Atmosic’s low-power energy harvesting technology uses Bluetooth 5, which increases connected devices’ range by four times the range of previous Bluetooth generations. This increased range can be especially helpful for doctors to monitor their patients, or parents to monitor their children, anytime, anywhere via a browser or smartphone application.
At a time when the healthcare industry is facing staffing shortages, increasing efficiency while maintaining patient care has become a global priority. Forever battery or battery-free CGM solutions with Atmosic’s cutting-edge technologies promise to help people around the world monitor their health while enjoying the convenience of a device that always works, without worrying about charging or replacing batteries. Atmosic is committed to continuing innovation in this field to drive the battery-free IoT revolution in the healthcare industry and beyond.