Every day diabetics experience an irritating ritual which is slightly painful. Glucose levels must be checked after meals, and possibly several other times; and to accomplish that a blood sample must be taken. It happens through the process of inserting a spring-loaded needle into the end of a finger. This process may soon be a thing of the past; good news for diabetics.
Engineers at UCSD, the University of California at San Diego, have developed a small and non-obtrusive patch. It is flexible and easy to apply. The device releases a small amount of electricity into the skin, drawing a minute amount of fluid into the sensor to measure glucose levels, and therefore blood sugar content.
The device was tested on several diabetes patients. The accuracy was palpable to blood taken from the pin pricks.
This is the second non-invasive device invented to eliminate the painful process. In 2002 a wristband which used similar technology was developed; but there were problems. It didn’t completely eliminate finger pricking and the use of test strips remained necessary. It also caused skin irritation.
Diabetes affects approximately 29.1 million people in the United States.
By James Turnage