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Google Is Building Tiny, Affordable Diabetes Sensors

Google is helping to build a "bandage-sized" sensor that could give diabetes patients the ability to monitor their condition in real time.

Google's Life Sciences division -- now an Alphabet company -- is teaming up with DexCom, which makes glucose monitoring systems, to create the device.

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Currently, many diabetics still prick themselves with finger sticks to monitor their blood-glucose levels. Google and DexCom hope to build a tiny, cheaper, disposable alternative that can monitor type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as well as upload data to the cloud to be analyzed by Google's software.

"We're committed to developing new technologies that will help move health care from reactive to proactive," Andrew Conrad, the head of Google's Life Sciences division, said in a statement.

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This isn't the first health partnership for Life Sciences. Last year, it announced it was working with Novartis to build smart contact lenses that would correct vision and monitor blood sugar levels at the same time.

Diabetes is a growing problem in the United States, with 29 million adults suffering from the condition last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- an increase from the 26 million people who had diabetes in 2010.