Hong Kong scientists have invented a device to help diabetics measure their blood sugar painlessly for the first time — without pricking their fingers.
The instrument, which is the size of a mobile phone, emits a weaker form of infrared, or near-infrared, which penetrates the skin on the finger and homes in on the bloodstream. Out of the many components in the blood, the beam is able to identify bits of glucose through the frequency or wavelengths they transmit and the amount of blood sugar present would be displayed in 10 seconds.
“There are different types of cells in the blood vessels — red blood cells, white blood cells, other compounds, protein, glucose, cholesterol but our model selects those for glucose and tells you its levels,” professor and associate head of research at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Nursing Joanne Chung said.
A team of 28 experts — nurses, doctors, engineers, computer experts as well as a mathematician from Australia — toiled for four years and came up with a device which is at least 85 per cent accurate after five clinical trials.