• A German start-up company has found a way to measure your glucose levels without using blood.
  • The first version looks like a shoe box with plans to have a smartwatch version by 2021.  
  • Some 3.5 million South Africans have diabetes - 6% of the population.

Finger pricking could be a thing of the past when it comes to checking your glucose levels for diabetes.

A German start-up, DiaMonTech, has developed a medical device that measures your blood glucose without finger pricking, a drop of blood, or using a test strip - one of the major bugbears of being diabetic.

This could go a long way toward helping 3.5 million South Africans, about 6% of the population, who suffer from diabetes.

DMT Base device

The shoe box sized DMT Base device uses infrared light to count glucose molecules through your skin.  

The technology is based on spectroscopy, which looks at how light interacts with matter. The company expanded on these methods to be able to detect glucose in the human body, a concept they are calling “photothermal detection”.

The glucose levels are measured by mid-infrared radiation, heat of 1/1000 of a degree Celsius (ºC), from a quantum cascade light (QCL) source.

All users need to do is place their fingertip on the optic lens and keep it steady for 5 to 15 seconds.

After you place your finger gently on the sensor, a light beam is directed to it. Glucose in your skin transforms that light to heat. The device then calculates your blood sugar level based on the temperature change.

During pre-clinical trial testing the company was able to achieve the same accuracy as tests strips.   

It means you can now measure your glucose level at any time you want, as well as learn about your blood glucose level as it changes throughout the day and overnight – in a cheap cost-effective manner.

Up next the company is building two more prototype devices. The first is a portable device the size of a phone which they hope to be cleared for trial testing by 2019 and with mass production planned for 2020.  The second is a wearable device set for 2021.  

DMT BAND

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