The future, wouldn’t this be great? The torch that could end the pain of finger-prick tests for diab

Home Forums The future, wouldn’t this be great? The torch that could end the pain of finger-prick tests for diab

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    • #5934

      A light that measures blood sugar levels when it’s shone on the skin could end painful finger-prick tests for diabetics.

      The experimental device, being tested at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S., works by analysing glucose levels in fluid just beneath the skin. From this, a computer program can instantly calculate how much there is circulating in the bloodstream.

      Diabetes affects about two million people in Britain. The condition develops when the pancreas either stops producing insulin altogether, or its output drops sharply.

      Type 1 diabetes often begins in childhood and usually means a lifetime of daily blood tests and insulin injections.

      Type 2 tends to affect older adults and is usually associated with poor diet and inactivity.

      The type 1 patients need to perform finger-prick blood tests up to five times a day.

      Without the right levels of insulin, the disease can cause irreversible damage to the kidneys, eyes, nerves, heart and major arteries.

      In recent years, dozens of research groups have been looking for easier ways to check blood sugar levels, including testing tears, implanting tiny chips under the skin and even using special tattoos that change colour when glucose levels are too high or low.

      But the latest technique simply involves holding a cable with a tiny bulb on the end next to the skin on the arm. It shines a special kind of light – called near-infrared light – into the tissue underneath the skin.

      The light reflects off glucose circulating in the interstitial fluid – a type of liquid that bathes skin cells and can be located just half a millimetre or so beneath the skin’s surface.

      Using a complex technique called spectroscopy, the light waves pick up tiny vibrations in the molecules that hold glucose cells together.

      Because these vibrations occur at a different rate in glucose compared with other fluids in the body, the light can identify sugar molecules accurately.

      A software program then instantly converts this into a reading. Researchers are working on a desktop-style device that can be used by doctors to check patients.

      But they also hope to be able to condense the technology down into a handy gadget that diabetics can carry with them as an alternative to daily blood checks. It is hoped the device could be available within four years.

    • #6828

      I saw this on a tech site the other day, looks awesome.

      My only question is if my PCT won’t fund CGM, what chance of this if it ever comes to fruition?

    • #6830
      Annette A

      >The type 1 patients need to perform finger-prick blood tests up to five times a day
      I’m lucky if I only do 5 tests a day.
      @stephen – I can forsee funding only if it turns out to be cheaper than numerous blood tests. So fat chance, really.

    • #6832

      Aaaaaaargh! A post from the Daily Fail – what has this site become! ;-) I have a basic formula for health reporting:

      Is it in the Daily Mail? Yes = it’s bollocks; No = it’s possibly bollocks.

    • #6846
      Hairy Gnome

      That’s what I like to see @Tim, scientifically accurate data; I’m proud of you my son, proud of you! You are a credit to your blog! ;)

    • #6848

      Cheers Terry!

    • #6849

      Here’s the bollocks straight from the bull. (But I enjoyed the Mail’s use of the concept of “glucose cells” – now we can lower our BG by camping out in a bee hive or ant hill, and let the inhabitants carry away any excess…cures are coming in fast and furious!)

      As a marketable instrument though, the MIThras is dead meat and can’t provide its manufacturers with an endless stream of milk/AI sperm like it is the case with test strips, so it’s going to have to be sold as pretty expensive beefsteak. Sigh…. pepperpottish fingertips are our fate :(

    • #6853

      It was a nice thought!

    • #6854

      I had something like this done at a Bupa healthcheck a few years back – an antioxidant test or something. Was a box like one of those Dyson hand driers – shone a funny light through my hand and produced a printout. So maybe its not total BS.

    • #6858

      @scottyfromscotland: Unless the “hand drier” was provided by Cambridge Theranostics, and you received a prescription for Ateronon thanks to the results of its beckoning beams ;)

      As to the cost of this proposed MIT-hand dryer, if one adds up cost of test strips used in a year, there’ll be more than enough cash in the NHS coffers if they don’t have to be bought at all – or would there be need to calibrate this machine (like with CGM ?)

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