Researchers have come up with a new and easier way of checking blood sugar and delivering medication in diabetes patients. The new method is called Iontophoresis, which can help taking blood samples without even pricking and administer medicines without injection. This is done by the application of an extremely low electric current to pull glucose molecules through the skin.
A device called as ‘glucowatch’ has already been devised. This device consists of two integrated parts-a biographer (which calculates, displays and stores glucose readings) and an autosensor (which first collects the concentration of glucose and converts it into an electric signal which is displayed finally as a reading). This device is tied around the arm, which draws glucose from the skin working on the principles of Iontophoresis and measures the concentration of glucose in the extracted sample with an “autosensor”.
The procedure takes 20 minutes and the device can measure at least 3 readings in one hour. The device has a watch attached to it, which displays the most recent glucose reading and also indicates whether it is above or below the previous reading. At the same time the patient can himself adjust the upper and lower glucose concentration levels so that anytime the readings cross these levels the device can sounds an alarm. The glucowatch can also sound an alarm if blood glucose starts falling abruptly. Thus it helps in constant monitoring of blood glucose levels, which is very essential to keep diabetes under control.
This method is still in its early stages and has to be thoroughly checked and rechecked, but it seems to promise a needle-free future for diabetes patients.