No more finger pricks?

Three US organisations have joined forces to develop a noninvasive method for glucose measurement that could make the life of diabetics a lot easier.


Georgetown University, Gentag, and the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) plan to combine their intellectual expertise and property to create a measurement system based on disposable skin patches with built in wireless sensors that could report the glucose levels of a wearer directly to his or her mobile phone.


Combining such a sensor with the soft, flexible skin patches, the traditional pain and discomfort of the current existing finger-prick technique could be eliminated altogether. What is more, using mobile phones as readers could also allow users to be located quickly in the case of an emergency.


With funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a team of Georgetown University and SAIC scientists initially developed the skin-patch technology to monitor the status of soldiers on the battlefield. To make the new monitoring system a reality, the glucose-sensor technology developed by the pair will be combined with Gentag’s cell phone-based RFID-sensor readers.


The three team members then plan to sell or license the idea to a company developing glucose monitors or insulin-delivery systems under a competitive bidding process.