Diabetes & Monitoring – Blood Glucose Sensor Replacing Finger Prick Tests

Remember the recent article about no longer needing to have your finger pricked to test your blood glucose?

Well, it seems that another technology is beating them in the race.

An arm patch with a sensor the size of a £2 coin (28.4mm) is being used to detect blood glucose levels from the cells, transmitting the data to a smartphone! (All the more reason for us to cling on to our phones, right?)

This invention might be the end of the frequent and painful (arguably, not always painful, more of a shock, really) finger-prick tests that have been used to glycemia throughout the years.

This might signify the end of the era for easy-to-use home glucometers that was first introduced in 1981. The current arm patch with sensor was tested in a study of more than 50,000 patients and showed significant health benefits.

Here is how it works:

  • A special applicator is used to place a circular patch on the upper arm every two weeks.
  • In the circular patch, there is a tiny filament that pierces the skin and senses the glucose level.
  • Data are sent to a smartphone (using the same technology that is used for contactless card payments)

Better still, these data can be sent automatically to parents and guardians (up to 20 phones) to ensure better monitoring by the caregivers. This system has been available privately in the United Kingdom (UK) for a monthly fee and has been in use for a year, but negotiations are underway to make it free in the UK.

So far, patients have reported that it has helped them with better understanding their diabetes due to multiple daily glucose checks. The painless nature is widely celebrated by patients (and I bet parents as well). The new tool enables patients to check glucose levels up to 16 times a day on average.

I hope this article brings some light at the end of the tunnel for diabetics out there who are sick of needles.

Huge shout-out to all parents out there who help their children have a well-controlled blood glucose! (Kids, you too!)

[expand title=”References“]

Coulter S. The history and future of blood glucose monitoring. 2016. Diabetes Self-Management.

Spencer B. Diabetes patch ends the pain of finger prick tests: Sensor inside reads blood sugar levels from cells before transmitting data to a smartphone. 2007. The Daily Mail.


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