Equipment and Services

Google developing bandage-sized glucose monitor

Dexcom G4 PLATINUM System with Share
Source: Dexcom

G is for Google—and glucose monitoring, as it turns out.

Google's life sciences team announced a partnership with glucose monitoring company Dexcom Tuesday to develop smaller, cheaper cloud-connected glucose sensors that hope to make finger sticks a thing of the past.

"We're committed to developing new technologies that will help move health care from reactive to proactive,"Andrew Conrad, head of the life sciences team at Google said in a statement. "This collaboration is another step towards expanding monitoring options and making it easier for people with diabetes to proactively manage their health."

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Under the agreement, the initial products mainly utilize DexCom's experience with sensor technology. However, Google will add value by way of its knowledge in miniaturized electronics and real-time data, with the objective of creating a device no larger than a bandage.

The companies did not disclose when the product might be available, but did reveal DexCom would retain all sales and distribution rights for the monitor, along with other payment and royalty arrangements.

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The tech giant already has a toehold in the health sciences sector.

Earlier this week, in addressing why Google was restructuring into Alphabet, CEO Larry Page highlighted many of the products and initiatives in the health space. Those include a patented glucose-sensing smart contact lens it's developing in partnership with Swiss drugmaker Novartis.

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Success for the companies could shake up a blood-sugar tracking market that is expected to be worth more than $12 billion by 2017, according to GlobalData research cited by Reuters.