Patients suffering from diabetes shall tell you that the biggest inconvenience is checking blood glucose levels, which they have to do multiple times a day in extreme cases. Alternatively, an implantable sensor can be used that measures glucose level, however, it has to be surgically implanted and removed when replacement is required. A new gadget has been created known as GlucoSense, developed by Prof. Gin Jose and his team at the University of Leeds.
User simple places the pad of the finger against a small glass window and a low-powered laser beam is fired through the window. Glucose in the bloodstream absorbs some of the light while some is reflected back onto the window. Ions on the window glass surface show fluorescence in infrared after being exposed to the reflected light. The time they glow for is directly proportional to the amount of light hitting them. A processor in the device measures the time of fluorescence and ascertains the amount of laser light that has been absorbed and thus deduces the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. It takes about 30 seconds for this whole procedure.
There are two versions; one is a computer mouse-sized tabletop unit while the other one comes as a wearable gadget that measures the glucose levels continuously. Professor Jose says, “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. This will allow people to self-regulate and minimize emergency hospital treatment. This wearable device would then be just one step from a product which sends alerts to smart phones or readings directly to doctors, allowing them to profile how a person is managing their diabetes over time.”