September 1, 2010

FTNW: Needle-free diabetes testing

I have seen various reports on light based glucose testing and one rather extensive bit on why it will be very difficult if even possible. That said it is still in the news and here is the latest from

A new device based on Raman spectroscopy has been developed by scientists at MIT to help patients with diabetes monitor their blood glucose levels without needing to prick their fingers to take a blood sample...

..."The new device based on Raman spectroscopy is currently under development and we hope to have a functional prototype in the next two years," Barman told SpectroscopyNOW. "However, at this time, we have a portable instrument, which is relatively large, the size of a shopping cart, and can only be used for clinical studies. In fact, our feasibility studies which will start this Fall will be making use of this portable instrument that can be wheeled into a clinic but cannot be used for personal use."

"We will be starting [clinical] studies in September 2010," Barman told us. "We expect the initial series of studies to complete by the middle of next year. In the first trials, we will be testing our instrumentation and methodologies on healthy human volunteers. In the next set of investigations, we will be incorporating our primary target population of Type I and II diabetics. For our purposes, there is no difference between any diabetic patient (Type I, II or gestational) - however, if successfully implemented our technology would be most beneficial to Type I patients who need to perform 6-12 measurements per day."
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  1. I have seen something based on body temperature, but light seems so much more problematic. Still, if they can get the algorithm right, and test it in enough people to prove it works, then we just need to convince them that the current business model of perpetual test strips sold at high markups makes sense!

  2. They use light to detect oxygen levels in the blood...they can (and I believe will) do this. So incredibly cool...especially if it won't be like the current CGM system where we still have to check a BG before bolusing with insulin...if it is as reliable as doing a cap blood test then it is as good as gold...well hopefully it won't be as big as a shopping cart...Joe's bed room is kind of small and I cannot even imagine wheeling it to a hockey

  3. YDMV Note: David Mendoza has a great (and for those who know David a great is no surprise) ebook called "The Pursuit of Noninvasive Glucose" by John L. Smith linked on his site for anyone who wants to know the history and details of noninvasive testing.