What's Up Doc (001) - Non-invasive Blood Glucose Monitoring Using Heart Rate Variability Analysis

Non-invasive Blood Glucose Monitoring Using Heart Rate Variability Analysis

By Dr Sania Iqbal, MBBS, Medical Practitioner PMDC


Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when either the body cannot produce enough insulin to meet its needs, or the insulin produced cannot be effectively used by the body. In either case, it manifests as impaired glucose metabolism leading to a number of complications such as damage to heart, blood vessels, kidneys, eyes and nerves.

Millions of people are suffering from diabetes around the world and the number is increasing every year. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2014, 8.5% of adults aged 18 years and older had diabetes. In 2016, diabetes was the direct cause of 1.6 million deaths and in 2012 high blood glucose was the cause of another 2.2 million deaths. That is an alarming number highlighting the fact that awareness regarding diabetes, its prevention, monitoring and treatment needs to be imparted to the masses.

Diabetes is currently an incurable disease which means prevention is the only way to stay free from it. To prevent diabetes, a number of lifestyle changes are needed. These include:

  • Keeping to a healthy diet with low sugar and unsaturated fat content
  • Achieving and maintaining healthy weight
  • Being physically active for at least 30 minutes a day
  • Avoiding smoking and alcohol consumption
  • Monitoring your glucose levels from time to time

Monitoring is also important for early diagnosis of diabetes and optimum control of blood sugar levels within normal range. For years, traditional blood sugar testing methods using blood have been employed around the world. However, they are not convenient for a number of reasons such as:

  • Pain associated with pricking
  • The cost of supplies that need to be replenished from time to time
  • The results are not easy to interpret for everyone
  • The glucometer cannot be easily carried everywhere
  • The blood sugar testing cannot be easily performed everywhere

For these reasons, there has been a need for a revolutionary product that would simplify the process of blood sugar monitoring. Sugar levels particularly need to be monitored during physical activity when there is a greater risk of becoming hypoglycemic.

Actxa Glo is a heart rate tracker with an additional technology called Pre-M DiabetesTM – one that predicts blood glucose levels based on a user’s heartbeat data. This provides a non-invasive complement to your blood sugar monitoring needs. The results are categorised as High or Normal, giving you a general idea about how effectively you are controlling your blood sugar levels throughout the day and in the long term.

Not only does it predict your blood glucose levels during physical activity, it also provides information about your heart rate through a photoplethysmography sensor that emits a green light from the back of the Actxa Glo tracker. Additionally, the data about your daily activity such as calories burnt, steps, distance and workout, helps you optimise your workout routine seamlessly to make it compatible with your required blood sugar levels.

For the abovementioned reasons, the Actxa Glo, at least in theory, can prove to be an excellent tool for everyone. That includes healthy, pre-diabetic and diabetic individuals, who can be guided towards healthy life choices that would ensure a potentially longer and better-quality life.

Important: The Actxa Glo is currently undergoing a closed beta community testing phase, and is not yet commercially available. The thoughts presented above do not constitute official medical advice, and should not be construed as a prescriptive recommendation in any form. For commercial or partnership enquiries, please contact support@actxa.com

Marc Abel Lim
Marc Abel Lim