Millions of diabetics around the world currently have to resort to an invasive method to draw blood samples required by glucometers. But an innovative laser sensor could make the invasive blood glucose testing method a thing of the past. The medical device, developed by a team of scientists led by Prof. Gin Jose at the University of Leeds, makes use of low-power laser beams to provide accurate blood glucose level readings by penetrating, not puncturing, the skin.
The promise of pain-free blood glucose testing could be the USP that makes this device popular in the years to come. The device is also unique in that carries continuous monitoring capabilities. Building on this aspect, the monitor could potentially be developed as a wearable device that offers patients continuous, real-time information about a spike or dip their blood glucose levels. Thanks to the non-invasive nature of the device, it wouldn’t need to be implanted – further simplifying its use by patients.
Currently, the two methods for testing the level of glucose in a patient’s blood are invasive in nature. Healthcare practitioners either prick the finger to draw blood and place it on a disposable sample strip which is placed in a glucometer or they use continuous monitors, which carry sensors that are implanted via an invasive procedure. Both of these conventional techniques cause discomfort to patients essentially because they rely on blood samples.
Speaking about the innovative medical device, Prof. Jose said that the technique holds the potential to make the practice of finger pricking among diabetics obsolete. By virtue of providing continuous readings to patients, the laser-based monitoring system could provide instant alerts to patients about any notable change in their blood glucose levels. With higher self-regulation, the current burden of diabetes monitoring can be taken off healthcare institutions. The technology has been licensed to a spin-out company of the University of Leeds, Glucosense Diagnostics.