Most of us living with diabetes for more than a year or two have become pretty practical. Which is to say, skeptical. We're not jumping up and down anymore every time we hear of some "revolutionary" new treatment that's supposedly going to transform our lives. Because we know this transformation's gonna be a loooong time coming.
Take non-invasive glucose monitoring (blood glucose testing without pricking the skin), for example. You would've thought, with the rapid-fire pace of technology development, that we'd have something viable for everyday-life use by now. Nope. We're still stuck in the realm of possibilities, it seems, as evidenced by some stuff displayed yet again at this year's ADA Conference Expo:
* The Scoutâ„¢, from VeraLight, now spiffied up in purple. Investigational, and not yet approved for use in the United States. Not to mention obviously not meant to be a portable-by-patient system. Uses proprietary fluorescence spectroscopic technology to act as a "diabetes odometer." The company says it outperforms both the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test and the A1C test as a rapid and non-invasive screen for pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. K...
* Glucolight, another hospital-based monitor using a beam of light on the skin to display a patient's blood glucose levels in real time on an easy-to-read LCD touch screen. The company notes that blood glucose levels are indeed "the next vital sign," with elevated levels linked to complications for all patients following surgery. Intensive glucose control has been shown to decrease deaths and reduce infections in acute care patients (!) This one's currently in clinical trials, and if all goes well, will be approved for regular use in the intensive care unit by 2008.
* OrSense, which uses red near-infrared "occlusion spectroscopy technology" (in a ring-shaped probe around your finger) to collect data every 10-15 minutes. The system measures glucose, hemoglobin, and oxygen saturation. You can learn a bit about how it works HERE. This one received European CE Mark approval for its NBM-200G system on June 20. It is now being "evaluated in a variety of settings," including testing patients in a "home-like" environment, according to the company literature. Which is encouraging, I guess, since it seems that for the immediate future, we'll otherwise have to land in the hospital to get a taste of glucose monitoring without the bleeding.
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Whatever happened to the 'smart tattoo,' btw?