For someone diagnosed with diabetes, pricking one’s finger on a constant basis can be rather tiresome. Well, we have some good news for people with this condition. It appears that researchers at the University of Texas’s biochemical engineering lab have found a way to entirely eliminate finger pricking.
This is all thanks to a new technology they have developed. Its main promise is the ability to test one’s blood sugar levels from sweat. It’s worn on our wrist, much like an ordinary watch.
All we need to do is press a button on this gadget, and it will inform us if our levels are elevated or not.
We’ll only have to wait for 30 seconds to receive the readings from our sweat. Dr. Shalini Prasad, along with her team of bioengineers, has been working on this device (still a prototype) with the hopes of being able to sell it commercially.
What It’s All About
This device contains a small sensor (the size of a penny) that can soak up our sweat, tests it for glucose and wirelessly reports its findings to a smart reader. It costs about 7 cents a patch! Dr. Prasad and her team have strong hopes for the near future.
They sincerely believe that this special sweat sensor of theirs will revolutionize the way people monitor prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
Instead of having to prick our fingers multiple times each day, this device reads our glucose levels through our sweat. Simple yet effective!
And don’t worry, we don’t need to actually work up a sweat for the reading to be done. The beauty of this is the freedom that individuals can enjoy. They can go about their day without having to worry and wonder what an extra packet of sugar in their coffee will do to their system.
Which also makes it easier for physicians to determine the next course of action necessary.
A Worthy Invention, Indeed
Over 350 million individuals around the world have to deal with this chronic condition. 65 million of them live in India, where Dr. Prasad happens to be from. Her main goal is to broaden access to care at a low cost.
The reason for this is simple. She is well aware there are plenty of those who have this condition yet cannot afford any expensive medicine or measuring devices, when they can barely even feed themselves.
Dr. Prasad pointed out this device can also detect one’s levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
Still, she went on to admit that plenty more research is required to prove whether the readings from one’s sweat are just as reliable as those from one’s blood. Sweat panels are simply not as reliable as blood panels, according to Dr. Prasad.
She believes that this is the first step towards creating a wellness device that anyone could be able to afford (not to mention how simple it is to use). Her vision is for people to take a trip to Walmart or another local store and buy it from there.
And, after all, who doesn’t want a way to end finger-pricking for good?
Source: New Medical