Mobile device may end days of finger pricking for diabetics

A new mobile laser-powered device may end the days of diabetics having to prick a finger to measure and monitor blood glucose levels.

The tool, developed by a team at the University of Leeds and licensed to Glucosense Diagnostics, is able to constantly monitor blood glucose levels in a non-invasive way, proving patients with continuous readings that can instantly alert them to when intervention is needed, Gin Jose, a member of the Leeds team, says in an announcement.

He and his team believe the innovation could lead to better diabetes treatment at a cheaper cost.

"This will allow people to self-regulate and minimize emergency hospital treatment," Jose says. "This wearable device would then be just one step from a product which sends alerts to smartphones or readings directly to doctors, allowing them to profile how a person is managing their diabetes over time."

According to the announcement, about 3.9 million people are diagnosed as diabetics in the U.K., and it is estimated more than 1 in 17 citizens has diabetes (diagnosed or undiagnosed).

Smartphones and other devices have, for some time, been serving in various capacities to help with diabetes diagnosis and treatment. One new app provides continuous glucose readings via a diabetes blood sugar monitor that will work with Apple Watch.

In addition, Samsung Electronics and Medtronic recently announced they are teaming up to develop mobile apps to provide insight and access on diabetes data, including glucose monitoring information, for Medtronic's MiniMed Connect.

For more information:
- read the announcement