A new bloodless diabetes glucometer is being developed as a possible replacement for people needing to check blood sugar levels using the traditional finger prick test.
The non-invasive device, which has undergone initial testing and gained further financing, has been developed by a company called Grove Instruments and uses a light to monitor blood sugar in only 20 seconds or even less. The Optical Bridge technology is based on near-infrared spectroscopy that measures real-time blood sugar and is powered by batteries to offer glucose meter readings from either the fingertip or earlobe.
The company carried out a major study last year to compare its device against more usual ways of measuring blood glucose, finding that it was able to meet standards for accuracy. Others are also looking to develop such non-invasive, spectroscopy-based diabetes testing devices, all of which have to get round problems such as low signal-to-noise ratio and water interference.
Many people do not like the finger prick test for reasons such as pain, aversion to blood, it being too complicated, the potential embarrassment and also the cost involved. The chief executive of Grove, Arthur Combs, said “We’re not doing this just because people are babies and won’t stick their finger. Everybody has their own reasons why they don’t test. Our opportunity is to get everyone to benefit.”
Previous studies have shown that the self-monitoring of blood glucose levels is linked with improved glycaemic control for people with type 1 diabetes.

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