For diabetics, the self-test of their blood glucose, generally requiring them to prick a finger and test their blood using chemically-coated paper and a small device is a way of life.
That might not always be the case now that scientists in Wales think they’ve found a better device that will allow for more continuous monitoring.
A newly-designed device from Scientists at Cardiff University tests glucose levels through the skin by using microwaves –a process that eliminates the need to bleed and use testing methods that have an expiration date.
The innovative device is worn on a person’s arm and allows for continuous monitoring of blood glucose. It also allows even allows health care providers to monitor patient conditions via the web.
“Patients are very keen on this,” Stephen Luzio, a professor at Swansea University who has been working with scientists at Cardiff University, said in a press release. “One of the big problems with patients measuring their glucose is they don’t like pricking their finger, so there’s a lot of interest.”
Development of the device began in 2008 on a $1.4 million grant from the Wellcome Trust, a U.K.-based health charity, to find an easier, less invasive method of diabetes monitoring.
“The monitor uses microwaves and is very safe,” said Adrian Porch, a professor at Cardiff University. “The levels of microwaves are very, very low. If you think about a mobile phone then they are about a thousand times less than that.”
Luzio and Porch have already conducted trials with patients, with more tests planned for later this year.
The hope is that the device will be available within five years.