Actxa wins AI award for its non-invasive blood glucose monitoring project
The initiative has the potential to vastly enhance the reach on public health concerns and chronic illness management.
With its vision to be a leading preventive health technology company in the world, Actxa Pte Ltd introduced an innovation to monitor blood glucose levels non-invasively.
The latest Singapore National Population Health Survey shows that 9.5% of adults are afflicted with diabetes from 2019 to 2020. A quarter of these are newly diagnosed, whilst 26% exhibit poor glucose control. Similarly, it is expected to be a significant problem worldwide with a projected 1 in 2 diabetic patients being undiagnosed in 2030.
With no cure for Type 2 Diabetes, the Singapore Ministry of Health launched a nationwide initiative to tackle this epidemic in 2017, with a heavy focus on reversing pre-diabetes and preventing the further onset of diabetes with proper management of blood glucose levels.
Concurrently, advances in wearable technologies have introduced high-end consumer wearable devices with integrated photoplethysmography (PPG) sensors to monitor changes in heart rate.
With the increasing proliferation of these wearables, the potential to vastly enhance the reach to other public health concerns and chronic illness management such as Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is still largely untapped.
Monitoring blood glucose levels is one such application. Wearable technology allows for continuous monitoring of blood glucose levels to pre-emptively identify individuals with prediabetes and potentially allow diabetics to dynamically manage their treatment for better blood glucose control.
As an AI-driven prevention health solutions company, Actxa’s R&D team began working on a novel digital monitoring technology in 2016, which was later coined as Non-Invasive Blood Glucose Monitoring (BGM). Its goal was to engineer a solution that is non-invasive, frequently and conveniently accessible, and low cost.
The solution leveraged the latest technological advancement in signal processing, wearable technologies, and artificial intelligence (AI) to assess the risk of impaired glucose regulation.
Using inter-beat-interval data from a consumer-grade wrist-worn PPG sensor, the AI model will compute the relevant digital biomarkers correlated with the symptoms of prediabetes or T2DM and eventually predict the risk of developing diabetes.
This project won the company an award under the AI - Healthcare Technology category in the annual SBR Technology Excellence Awards, hosted by Singapore Business Review. The SBR Technology Excellence Awards is part of the regional Asian Technology Excellence Awards now running in 50 countries.
The annual awards programme highlights technological innovations, recognising exceptional companies in Singapore that are riding the digital disruption wave and leading the technological revolution and digital journeys of their respective industries.
In giving this award, the judging panel took note of three major achievements attained by Actxa:
- Actxa is the first Singapore company that has developed a comprehensive AI solution that leverages consumer-grade wearables to detect blood glucose dysregulation.
- It has successfully collaborated with a hearing aid company and with its wearable manufacturer from China.
- It is the only non-invasive blood glucose detection solution that is going through a clinical validation study in Southeast Asia.
Actxa said that its team is currently conducting a clinical validation study in a local hospital to improve the prediction model and evaluate the model’s real-world accuracy, reliability, and generalisability. The AI-empowered solution has also shown a promising result to extend the solution to other wearable devices.
The BGM will be available as a B2B cloud service with the production of at least one wearable product by Q4 of 2022.
Watch the interview below to know more about their winning project: