Entrepreneurs are wearing implants made for diabetes in the pursuit of 'human enhancement'
In a photo posted to Instagram earlier this year, Dave Asprey, founder and CEO of Bulletproof Coffee, smiles big as he flexes his left arm, revealing a small white disk attached to this tricep.
"It's official. I'm a cyborg," the caption reads.
In Silicon Valley, a growing number of entrepreneurs and biohackers are using a medical technology called a continuous glucose monitor, or CGM, in order to learn more about how their bodies work. They wear the device under their skin for weeks at a time.
CGMs, which cropped up on the market less than 10 years ago and became popular in the last few years, are typically prescribed by doctors to patients living with diabetes (both types 1 and 2). They test glucose level, or the amount of sugar in a person's blood, and send real-time results to a phone or tablet. Unlike fingerstick tests, CGMs collect data passively, painlessly, and often.
For people taking a DIY approach to biology, CGMs offer a way to quantify the results of at-home experiments around fasting, exercise, stress, and sleep.
A patient checks their blood glucose level using a conventional fingerstick test. Stoyan Nenov/Reuters
Asprey, a self-proclaimed biohacker who's spent over $1 million on "smart drugs," wearable tracking devices, and diagnostics tests in the pursuit of cognitive enhancement, has been wearing a CGM on and off for two months. He does not have diabetes, though he's familiar with fingerstick tests from 20 years ago when he weighed 300 pounds and was told by his doctor to monitor his glucose.
In 2017, Asprey bought the device from a European vendor online. ( Continue reading