Verily researchers have built prototype devices for painless blood collection that uses a system of “exploding” micro-needles, magnets, and potentially a blood storage chamber, CNBC reports. Information on the device was received from several anonymous sources, who CNBC said did not want to be named as the project is still unannounced.
“Several sources aware of the company's plans say the device is still many years away from production and faces significant scientific, technical and regulatory hurdles,” CNBC’s Christina Farr wrote. “These people described it as a long-term project akin to other so-called ‘moonshots' that Alphabet is working on.”
While the team at Verily is said to still be investigating potential uses for the technology, each possibility features the device as an enabler of frequent wearer monitoring, according to the report. The device’s most likely outcome is serving as a tracker of key blood markers for those enrolled in clinical trials, although it could also be pitched as a replacement to blood draws in certain medical settings.
The team, run by Verily Chief Technical Officer Brian Otis, is reported to have been working on the device for several years, including the construction of a working prototype. When worn, the device’s micro-needles “explode” into the wearer’s skin, then retracted into the device with the included magnets for future use. Further, one of CNBC’s sources noted compartments inside the watch-like prototype designed to store, measure, and analyze the collected blood samples.
MobiHealthNews has reached out to Verily for comment, and will update this article with any reply.
Verily, the Alphabet subsidiary formerly known as Google Life Sciences, has had a hand in healthcare tech for some time. Since receiving an $800 million investment from a Singapore investor in early 2017, the company has debuted a health-tracking Study Watch for use in clinical research, and is one of the nine participants in the FDA’s precertification program.