Diabetes is one of the most serious pandemic disorders of this century, degrading personal life quality and imposing huge global economical burdens. Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) allows enhanced diabetes therapeutics, significantly helping to prevent diabetes-associated symptoms. However, the current CGM systems that transcutaneously interface interstitial fluid have limitations not only on accuracy, but also on lifetime up to a few days, and involve high risk of infection and irritation. To resolve these issues, a great demand exists for fully implantable CGM systems, and some early prototypes have recently been demonstrated in this field. The integrated everything-on-a-single-chip framework that we have been working on for neural application [Ha et al., Proc. IEEE, 2016] is well suited for this transcutaneous CGM system. This will improve the signal quality by full implantation, lifetime by continuous wireless powering and communication, and safety by miniaturization to a volume of less than a few mm3.
We have been developing everything-on-chip implantable CGM systems, integrating all functionality on a single CMOS die, and requiring no external components at all. For a complete system implementation, we are planning to develop a watch-based interrogator to power and communicate sensors implanted beneath the skin under the watch. As an everyday wearable device, the watch would be one of the best body-sensor-network hubs not only for such CGM microsystems, but also for other wearable health-monitoring sensors. We anticipate that the maturing of such technology will have vast societal consequences on industrial and entrepreneurial development in this area, disrupting the diabetes health-care industry and having a substantial impact on many peoples’ lives afflicted by diabetes.