A new device measures glucose levels in urine, potentially ending the need for finger pricking to test glucose levels.
The device, which is attached to the toilet and transmits blood glucose readings to a smartphone, has been developed at the Technological Institute of Chihuahua, Mexico.
It is called Glucosalarm, and has been well received so far. The MIT Tech review listed Glucosalarm among the 10 most outstanding creations by innovators under 35. Glucosalarm also won the Global Innovation Competition for Science and Technology for the Benefit of Mankind, for which it competed with 900 other technological developments.
Glucosalarm was developed through a collaboration between Carlos Bernal and Nancy Guerra. Bernal explained the motivation behind creating the device.
“Pricking a finger several times a day can lead to numbness and over-sensitivity to the simple touch of clothing, even the whole hand can become too painful to use for three or four days,” said Bernal.
“The patient activates the sensor via bluetooth from a smartphone then, when urinating, a few drops will be deposited on the collector where it is mixed with enzymes that react with the glucose present and produce a coloured compound; the sensor measures the intensity of the colour, calculates the concentration of glucose and sends the results to the phone in 15 to 40 seconds. If the result is too high an alert is sent to the family, the doctor, and even to an emergency number requesting an ambulance.
“Using the smartphone the patient can send the results to a doctor, family member or diabetes educator responsible of treatment, so that they are aware of the day-to-day glucose measurement,” Bernal added.
Glucosalarm is in the third prototype stage, and it is currently being tested on diabetes patients. According to Bernal, two international medical companies are interested in manufacturing it.

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