A laser that doesn’t penetrate the skin could replace painful finger pricking for diabetics.

The new technology, developed by a team at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, incorporates low-powered lasers in a small device that enables continuous blood sugar monitoring. Without the need for an implant, the device may be an ideal type of technology to develop into a wearable system.

“As well as being a replacement for finger-prick testing, this technology opens up the potential for people with diabetes to receive continuous readings, meaning they are instantly alerted when intervention is needed,” said Gin Jose, developer of the technology and professor at the University of Leeds.

A device that suits your lifestyle

The glass used in the sensors, Jose said, acts in a similar way as glass used in smartphones, making it more affordable than some other types of self-monitoring systems.

The team aims to develop two types of devices for consumers: one that is a finger-touch system and another that is a continuous wearable system for ongoing monitoring.

The pilot clinical trial suggests the technology can perform as well as conventional systems, but more research will be done to further develop the product before it’s available to consumers.

Source: University of Leeds

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