Have you ever wondered what it would be like not to have to prick your fingers or forearm with a needle several times a day to find out what your blood glucose levels are? The day may soon be here, where all you have to do is pass a device the size of a cell phone over your finger and infrared rays will sense how much glucose is in your blood.
Last month, The Hong Kong Polytechnic Institute walked away with 9 awards at this year's International Exhibition of Inventions, New Techniques and Products which took place in Geneva, Switzerland. The Hong Kong team, led by Prof. Thomas Wong Kwok-shing, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, was awarded a gold medal for their invention of a non-invasive blood glucose meter.
This isn't the first time that infrared technology has been used to attempt find an alternative to painful fingersticks for measuring blood glucose. As early as 1991, a patent was filed with the U.S. Patent Office for a hand-held device which used infrared technology to measure blood glucose noninvasively. An article published in Diabetes Care in 2002 outlined a clinical study that tested an "advanced handheld non-invasive glucose monitor prototype" that used infrared technology to detect glucose levels in the blood.
As of right now, there is no FDA approved non-invasive glucose monitor available to the public that uses infrared technology, but thanks to the team at the Hong Kong Polytechnic Institute, that day may soon be here.
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