Diabetics around the globe have yearned for an alternative to the lancet and needle to monitor blood glucose levels. The wait may soon be over.
Norcross, Ga.-based SpectRx Inc. has developed a device that painlessly monitors a person's blood glucose level. A laser is used to create microscopic holes on the surface layer of the skin. A patch covers the area and monitors a clear interstitial fluid below the surface of the skin. The liquid contains concentrations of glucose similar to levels in the blood. The patch is worn for three days at a time with a beeper-size meter providing results every five minutes.
Unlike other developmental technologies, the SpectRx device would work without drawing blood, implanting a sensor or sending an electrical charge into the body. The company unveiled its prototype at the 17th annual Hambrecht and Quist Healthcare Conference in San Francisco in January.