Very Brief GlucoBand Update

Glucoband_sm The GlucoBand lives!  I was able to contact the company, Calisto Medical, today.  Hoorah!  An unnamed executive was willing to share the following and nothing else:

1)  The product is still in development, and being carefully studied for effectiveness.

2)  They are now targetting the end of 2007 for potential widespread availability.

3) They’re hoping to make the product affordable enough for every average patient. (As you know, insurance reimbursement always lags on new products of this sort.)

Do not expect any public demonstrations of the product before launch time. But if this non-invasive wristband glucose meter really works better than its predecessor, the failed GlucoWatch, then man, are we going to celebrate!!


10 Responses

  1. Karen
    Karen March 16, 2007 at 5:04 pm | | Reply

    Man that would be better than any CGMS and hanging another thing from my body like the pump!!!

    Crossing my fingers for the watch.

  2. Wendy Morgan
    Wendy Morgan March 16, 2007 at 8:53 pm | | Reply

    Totally cool! When I was pregnant and the GlucoWatch came out, I begged my endo to let me get it. He assured me that it WASN’T all it was cracked up to be and said, “no.” My CGM trial experience has me wanting MORE, but geez, we are talking more than $2,500 a year out of pocket(approx, depending if you need to upgrade the Minimed pump).

  3. JasonJayhawk
    JasonJayhawk March 16, 2007 at 9:40 pm | | Reply

    *sniff sniff* What’s that I smell?

    Sadly, just as they fade away in the history of hopeful medical devices, their head emerges yet again as a way to get more funding from venture capitalists. We’re talking about huge money changing hands.

    It sounds like they’ve taken their latest cue from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory–disappearing into the basement of the lab and attempting to reappear with a product that will make us all wonder how they did it.

    Their site still says, “unit Pilot Production starting in early Q3, 2005.”

    Since when have you heard of medical device companies sharing their roadmap? Minimed just released a new small-sized sensor and hardly nobody knew about it until days prior to its release.

    And, what companies have you heard of the “unnamed executive” performing the task of the PR department?

    This device sounds like a pipe dream that somebody won’t put down. “No public demonstrations”? Isn’t this the same company that had a public demonstration that was later revealed that the numbers on the screen were just made-up for a “normal” person? Sounds like after they were bit by that stunt, they’ve changed their ways.

    And if they can’t even update their website from 2005, they must have only enough venture funding to pay the mom-and-pop operation enough for their meals.

  4. Becky
    Becky March 17, 2007 at 5:23 am | | Reply

    I’m skeptical like Jason. Where are they conducting these studies? If the product is still in development and not even before the FDA for approval, how on earth can they expect availability this year? Still sounds phishy to me!

    Fortunately, we have the Dexcom so this doesn’t sound nearly as exciting as it used to for me. Dex was a lifesaver during Mason’s recent stomach virus so we are very happy customers right now :)

  5. AmyT
    AmyT March 19, 2007 at 11:43 am | | Reply

    Your skepticism is well-founded, guys.

    It’s just that this sort of wristband-meter is MY pipe dream, too. I’m sure I’m not alone there…

  6. Rick Stockton
    Rick Stockton April 13, 2007 at 4:08 pm | | Reply

    I smell a rat, and all this new “buzz” showing up on MANY, MANY D-related websites in the last few days smells like it’s pellets. This Glucoband, it’s to be available in in late 2007, but they don’t have *ANY* Trial plans which they can even mention?

    “Calisto Medical 2007″ sounds just like “Pendragon 2003″… although Pendragon’s non-reproducible and verified-by-no-one “internal” testing results were much BETTER than Calisto’s.

    Lots of hype to suck up venture capital money, then I bet the company quietly disappears.
    - – - – -

    The technology which they claim to use has very little to do with the technology behind Glucowatch: Both do a resistance measurement on the surface of the skin, but Glucowatch actually sucked fluid out through the skin to perform it’s measurements.

    This one claims to do a quantitative measurement at the skin surface, by merely subjecting underlying tissue to a bunch of EMR .
    - – - – -
    Here’s my scientific analysis of why the technology WON’T WORK, clipped from a post which I sent to insulin pumpers’ mailing list on April 11. It’s long, but if you’re gonna either (1) hope to use such a device; or (2) contribute to generating “buzz” for this company, then you should READ AND UNDERSTAND what I said:

    John L. Smith’s excellent paper, titled “The Pursuit of Noninvasive Glucose: Hunting the Deceitful Turkey” (Copyright 2006) makes several points about the difficulties in creating ANY noninvasive technology for Glucose measurement. You can obtain this LONG analytical paper, a 129 page PDF, on the Internet. Here are just a few of the problems which he points out:

    The “signature” to which they are referring is most distinct in the near-infrared band. That’s the frequency range in which organic compounds of glucose’s size and general structure even have electromagnetic “signatures”. Some higher frequencies, such as ultraviolet, are simply absorbed by glucose and skin and just about everything else. X-Rays go right through molecules of this type (but don’t go through structures like bone, that’s why they use X-rays to diagnose broken arms and legs and ribs.) Much lower frequencies, such as radio, don’t react with glucose either, and tend to go right through glucose in blood with
    almost no “signature” of absorption/reflectance at all.

    So if they want to use noninvasive “EMR spectrum analysis”, I think that they have to be in either the near-infrared or far-infrared EMR region. Glucowatch does something quite different– it EXTRACTS interstitial fluid, and then does measurements of electrical resistance. It’s not working with any EMR reflectance/absorption
    “spectrum”. The big problem with Glucowatch technology was, [and _*IS*_; unfortunately Animas still tries to sell it], the simple fact that human SKIN is designed to keep the important FUEL of the body, GLUCOSE, *inside* and not let it out. So the Glucowatch’s electrical “sucking” method is trying to overcome tremendously resistant body structures at both the cellular and dermal levels, and the results are unreliable (even within a single patient, even just a few hours after “calibration”.)

    Calisto says that their “Bio-Electromagnetic Resonance” technology is used to create a similar surface resistance “profile”, which they then measure the same way as Glucowatch (a simple impedence measurement). But they aren’t hurting the skin and “sucking” ISF to do their measurement, they instead claim that performing a bunch of resistance measurements while subjecting the tissue underneath the Sensor to a pre-defined set of EMR signals can provide a reliable measurement of Glucose!

    With regard to the ‘spectrum’ of Glucose in the infrared EMR band (the only place where Glucose DOES have a specific “signature” of reflectance versus absorption), John Smith says this on pages 39-40:

    “while glucose is the primary fuel and circulates in perhaps the highest concentration of any sugar-like molecule, there are hundreds of “poly-hydroxy carbon compounds” in the body (both inside and outside cells) that are structurally similar to glucose and, therefore, have strong spectral similarities. Like Glucose, these substances vary in concentration– some in concert with glucose, some in inverse relationships, and some randomly. As a result, the near-infrared region is a veritable “jungle” of weak, overlapping, varying signals that come from these compounds, further complicating the mathematically-based search for true glucose concentration, and increasing the chances that something whose concentration correlates with glucose will confound attempts to isolate it from the overall background.”

    The wording of his last sentence is unclear, I think that he MEANT to say that many combinations of other compounds, which are ALWAYS present, but in varying concentrations (each of which may or may not correlate with Glucose concentration), will confuse the spectrum and often behave in a way which the measuring (and subsequent mathematical treatment) CAN’T DISTINGUISH from a change in Glucose. The background EMR spectrum varies through the day, sometimes, rapidly, in EXACTLY the “signature spectrum” where they trying to isolate a signal for “Glucose”.

    This problem confounds attempts to isolate Glucose concentration from the variable and (so far) impossible-to-separate “background noise” in an accurate, QUANTITATIVE, way (at the concentrations where these chemicals are occurring within the human tissue which they’re trying to analyze). But worst of all, this technology isn’t even analyzing the spectrum, but instead only measuring the resistance effects of all that EMR “heat” at the surface layer of the skin. This wont work.

    The outermost layer of the Epidermis is keratinized dead stuff, under this is are layers of cells undergoing the keratinization process (and dying when they’ve become little more than “bags” of keratin). Under this are basal cells which keep dividing and pushing their children upwards to become the dead and dying skin layers. The thickness of these layers is quite variable, and the chemistry of skin changes in lots of ways (for example, when you exercise and blood flow increases it becomes more red). All of this variability creates more unreliability in the
    measurement, compounding the difficulties in creating an accurate mathematical formula for “deriving” Glucose concentration.

    This Glucowatch-like “variability of skin” problem is piled *on top of* the difficulty in even measuring a non-invasive “signature” which is truly “Glucose-unique”. The living tissue underneath, which was the source of the reflectance/absorption characteristics which need to ‘filter up’ and result in resistance changes at the keratinized skin surface, was already a quagmire of chemicals with enormously variable activity in the same EMR frequency range where Glucose creates any kind of “signature”.

    In short, by trying for an indirect measurement THROUGH the skin, rather than trying to “pull” ISF upwards, Calisto seems to be looking for a Glucose effect which is even more confused (by noise) than GlucoWatch.
    - – - – -
    This “technology”, a scientific-sounding scheme for applying mathematical treatments to a set of impedence/resistance measurements made while subjecting underlying tissue to RF radiation, (and given a VERY scientific-sounding name), has appeared before: If you Google for “Pendragon Medical”, you’ll find a bunch of nearly identical, but even MORE IMPRESSIVE, claims of high correlation coefficient versus bG testing, and near-perfect Clarke Grid performance in a company-internal “trial” of about 15 “diabetics” (scammed, and un-reproducible) . After lots of news releases, and lots of talks for investment analysts, and lots of VC funding, their website vanished and the ‘product’ never appeared again. (All the investment money disappeared, of course.)
    - – - – -

    It’s kinda pathetic, the way every couple of years another scammer comes along with a nearly identical story (“spectral analysis”, “evanescent wave spectroscopy”, “radiomolecular magnetics”), and money flies around, and photos of corresponding “watch-like” or “blood pressure cuff-like” devices appear, websites are created, INTERNAL studies with breathtaking results are described in press releases, booths appear at
    conventions….. And then silence ensues. Phones go unanswered, the websites are eventually shut down.
    All that’s left is the empty wallets of the HOPEFUL and the GREEDY (not the same people, BTW) on whom the scammers preyed.

    I suspect that most of the time, non-invasive glucose technology scams are created by people
    who actually think they have something which might work… but they don’t have the guts or honesty to accept failure when it becomes clear that their “revolutionary” technology ISN’T GOING TO WORK. (It only becomes grossly fraudulent later, the original intentions were good.) You should never
    believe this kind of stuff until proof-of-concept testing is performed by an EXTERNAL organization with a good reputation.
    - – - – -

    BTW, I went to college in PHYSICS, and learned about electro-magnetism
    from a Nobel Prize winner. I also did Organic Chemistry AND Microbiology, although only at an undergrad level. As a trained
    scientist, *I smell a rat.* And the guy I’m quoting from? He knows a bit about bG meters. When John Smith retired from Lifescan, he was the company’s CHIEF SCIENCE OFFICER.
    - – - – -
    There’s tons of ‘glucoband’ buzz popping up in all kinds of places in the last 4 days. I suspect that it’s originally started by the company, to suck up more VC funding after another round of ‘dog and pony shows’ on Wall Street.

  7. Erik
    Erik January 7, 2008 at 3:33 pm | | Reply

    I was so hopefull that this technology would happen. The more I read the more I realize I’ll be sticking myself to test my blood forever.

  8. Anders
    Anders December 9, 2008 at 5:05 pm | | Reply

    Any news from Calisto medical about Glucoband?
    I visit the site ( every day for any signs of news or release.

  9. Andy
    Andy March 3, 2009 at 6:30 am | | Reply

    It seems that dates chnaged… big time..

    When will Glucoband be available commercially?

    * Commercial model is targeted for a release in the spring 2010.

    Will Glucoband be available in the USA next year?

    * It is planned to have a commercial prototype available in the USA sometime in 2011.

    So we will have to wait… (hopefully not forever)


  10. Anders
    Anders June 28, 2011 at 7:42 am | | Reply

    Still no news from calistomedical.
    The dates in the website is way passed.
    Waiting in expectation

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