1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Non-Invasive Blood Glucose Meter Promises Painless Testing

By May 12, 2007

Follow me on:

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.

Photo courtesy of stock.xchng.com

May 12, 2007 at 10:08 pm
(1) Bernard Farrell says:

I keep seeing this news in different locations but I don’t see any details about the alleged device. What wavelengths of light does it use? Is there a potential manufacturer for it, or is it a university experiment?

Have you been able to find out more about this? I’m a little suspicious that it may not amount to much.

May 13, 2007 at 1:54 am
(2) diabetes says:

Hi Bernard,

Thanks for commenting. The Hong Kong project was an entry in the International Exhibition of Inventions, so I guess that qualifies it as a university experiment. It uses near infrared wave lengths to detect glucose in the blood with out having to puncture the skin. I couldn’t find any information about potential manufacturers, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any. The major drawback to infrared technology was accuracy. The Hong Kong project appeared to be very accurate. Probably marketing will begin when accuracy is reliable.



May 18, 2007 at 8:13 am
(3) Kamal Damania says:

This is really breaking news for all diabetics across the world especially all the young kids who go throughthe pricking on a daily basis. Wonder how long it would take for this machine to reach countries like India and how affordable it will be?

May 23, 2007 at 12:45 pm
(4) Peter W. says:

Hi Deb,

Until something like this is available, any suggestions on glucose testing/monitoring for kids? It looks like we’ll need to test my 6 year old and I’d like to find the least invasive, least painful (yet accurate) method of doing so. Can you point me toward any info on that point? Thanks!

May 27, 2007 at 10:45 am
(5) Jean says:

Is the FDA friend or foe? What would all the companies that make meter, strips, lancing devices, etc. do if this were approved??? I’d like to know how much money is spent in Washington lobbying against these inventions.

May 27, 2007 at 8:10 pm
(6) Damian Mackiewicz says:

if you want to see, how the future of a measurement device using this noninvasive technology may look like,please visit my site:

June 14, 2007 at 7:27 am
(7) diabetes says:

Hi Peter,

Right now, forearm testing is acceptable for accuracy and causes less pain than finger sticking.

I can certainly understand your concerns with having to cause pain to your child everyday. Here’s a link to a study that was done on the accuracy of forearm testing for kids.

Hopefully the non-invasive testing technology will be perfected and marketed soon.

Deb Manzella RN

August 24, 2007 at 3:04 am
(8) Caeolyn says:

Oh I hope this is true!!!! I was just diagnosed as being diabetic and I am TERRIFIED of needles! It is really freaking me out! I don’t know how I am going to prick myself several times a day without causing my heart to race and my blood pressure to skyrocket! A non-invasive device would certainly ease my fear of this procedure and it might save lives by helping people who might not follow through with their testing because it is too stressful and painful.

August 29, 2007 at 12:03 am
(9) Ed says:

After thirty years of hearing, “we’re within five years of a cure”, I don’t believe this technology will ever come to market.

With test strips at $1 each on average, and testing six times a day or 2,300 times a year, there is too much money to be lost with a glucometer like this available.

The obscene profit on the test strips is why the glucometers are all so inexpensive.

But, they are very willing to throw new glucometers at us that give results in half the time as the older ones. Big deal.

January 24, 2008 at 6:50 pm
(10) MASSI says:

I agree with ED! too much money at stake. this device is long to come…
hope to be in fault..

March 12, 2008 at 9:43 am
(11) Paul L says:

How sad, but has anyone else noticed that it feels like a couple of times a year, a news story stating a new breakthrough of some form relating to diabetes. These stories appear for only a day or 2, despite how big they are (implants replacing need for insulin injections etc), and are completed with comments along the lines of “currently in clinical trials”. I understand these things need to be trialled and tested, but I never feel I hear about them ever again!

July 2, 2008 at 1:59 pm
(12) dennis says:

It is all about drug co profit. Why else has there been no cure for any diseases since smallpox and polio. They realized if you cure a disease the profit goes away. If they only treat the symptoms the disease is still there and the meds are continuiously needed. IE… PROFIT!

December 23, 2008 at 11:39 pm
(13) Ed-L says:

I agree with Dennis, it is all about money but until a child from this doctors/scientist gets diagnose with diabetes, them they will spend more time researching for a cure. is sad to say that!!! no one wants to see your children suffer specially the first weeks. to bad I’m not a doctor,scientist or whatever you call it, I will probably work everyday for a cure not only for diabetes but for many others. one thing I want to say is that we need to push the goverment and the private sector to find a cure.

December 24, 2008 at 3:42 pm
(14) Cait Conway-Morgan says:

My poor fingers are full of lancing device holes and half of them sustain bruising also, even though I set my pen to a lower level of poking. So the above article is of great interest to me. How accurate is it though? And I can’t help but wonder what the cost of this new meter would be…and whether insurance companies will pay for it, minus a co-pay due from the patient.


January 1, 2009 at 2:00 pm
(15) F Bihari says:

Recently I read that was approved by FDA the device developed by tha Canadian company Biosign Technologies Inc. (CNQ: BIOS). Apparently their results is very acceptable and realistic comparing with the routine lab glucose test procedure. The device looks like a watch, similarly to the developed by Cygnus although more accurate.

March 8, 2009 at 1:41 pm
(16) Beverly says:

I’m with Caeolyn. I too was just diagnosed with diabetes and have been searching the internet for a painless way of testing. I’m not having any luck at all. I also agree with the pharmacutical (sp??)co’s making tons of money while we suffer side effects from their meds. I’m opting to try herbs to control my blood sugar – I’m confident it will work!

May 2, 2009 at 9:24 am
(17) yoli says:

can some body please tell me a web site wher i can buy a glucometer without puncture, for my father….thankyou

September 11, 2009 at 4:49 am
(18) R. Potts says:

Biosign Technologies Inc. (CNQ: BIOS) like F Bihari said is accurate. The company is working on commercializing their product as a home based self monitoring product. It is called UFIT. I had the privilege to demo it, a wrist cuff is used and inflates. Takes your pulse reading the results are almost instantaneously displayed. It is web based and their software algorithm on their servers performs the calculations and returns the results to your computer. It was quite impressive. It does more than just glucose readings. I believe one day their vision will be realized and this device will be in every home. Hopefully sooner than later.

September 15, 2009 at 5:30 pm
(19) Sonny says:

Hi R. Potts,

Do you know when the Biosign device will become available to the public or is it in the R&D stage which means that it will most likely never come to market. There hasn’t been a non invasive glucometer that the FDA has approved of that I am aware of. This sounds like a broken record – how credible is this information? Diabetes like myself are constantly teased with “breaking news”. I have learned not to get my hopes up. Has anyone else heard of Biosign Technologies ?

October 15, 2009 at 1:02 am
(20) Dr. G. Singh says:

I have been following them for several years. They are a small Canadian company that has developed some leading edge technology. Their non-invasive glucometer is quite profound. Your can find some information on their website at http://www.biosign.com.

January 6, 2010 at 12:17 am
(21) Anurag Ojha says:

the website mentions that the product is slated for 2009 launch. Any update on where the status is. Have sent emails without any response from them

January 10, 2010 at 11:30 pm
(22) diabetes says:


As far as I can tell, there are not any non-invasive glucose monitors currently on the market. There are still some clinical trials being done to determine the accuracy of non-invasive monitors. I think that the accuracy issue might be the reason why there are none on the market yet. Blood glucose monitors have to be extremely accurate to be effective. As of right now, even if there were non-invasive monitors available for consumer use, they would probably have to be used in conjunction with the current invasive monitors to make sure that blood glucose levels were as accurate as possible.

Minimally invasive monitors are available. These are the monitors that measure blood glucose in areas other than the fingertips. They also do not have the kind of accuracy that monitors that use fingertip blood samples have.

If anyone has information about non-invasive blood glucose monitors, feel free to post it here.


Deb Manzella RN

February 11, 2010 at 2:53 pm
(23) Dr. G. Singh says:

There is a release today from Biosign which will interest many.

“Biosign certified for non-invasive glucometer”

“Biosign Technologies Inc. today announced it has been assessed and certified as meeting the requirements of ISO 9001:2008, ISO 13485-2003, and Directive 93/42/EEC (“CE Mark”) for automated wrist blood pressure and blood glucose monitors with computer controls. The certificates allow Biosign to add non-invasive blood glucose monitoring to its offerings in the European Union and other regions that recognize these certifications.”

This is very significant news as the company can now offer this as part of their UFIT release.

March 4, 2010 at 8:08 am
(24) mike says:

It will NEVER see the light of day! Pharma co’s make WAY TOO MUCH money selling the test strips. Greedy greedy greedy…

March 17, 2010 at 9:15 am
(25) Surfsouljah says:

Seems as though you should never say NEVER!

A paradigm shift has begun my friends:


Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.