Good News for Diabetics: The End of Days for Finger Pricking

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Manage your diabetes without the pain.

Finally, people with diabetes can monitor their blood glucose levels without undergoing the pain and discomfort of finger pricking. The American Diabetes Association recommends that patients with diabetes should have a glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) measurement at least twice a year. Patients who are treated with insulin and/or use medications should also have self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) as an integral part of diabetes management.

Despite these recommendations, a lot of people do not self-monitor their blood glucose due to a number of reasons. These include the pain associated with constant finger pricking and the cost and inconvenience of measuring their glucose levels. In fact, studies indicate that 56% of people with diabetes would monitor their blood glucose between 8 to 10 times per day if there is no pain involved in the process.

Non-Invasive Methods of Glucose Testing: Taking the Pain Out of the Equation

Due to the sheer number of patients requiring glucose tests all over the world, many companies are actively developing non-invasive methods of glucose testing. Among the alternative approaches being developed include the following:

  • Wearable, watch-like devices that utilizes near infrared spectroscopy (varied light waves are used to measure glucose through the skin)
  • Transdermal measurement (uses chemicals, electricity or ultrasound to pull glucose through the skin)
  • Breathalyzers that reacts with acetone to detect blood glucose levels in the breath of diabetics
  • Measuring polarized light in the aqueous humor of the eye
  • Implantable titanium sensor
  • Glucose sensing tattoos
  • Smart contact lenses that measure glucose levels in tears

With the extensive research and development efforts directed toward perfecting a non-invasive technology that will help patients monitor their glucose levels without the pain and discomfort of finger pricking, there is still hope that more people will comply with the treatment they need.

Some Interesting Facts and Figures about Diabetes

Do you think you know everything about diabetes? Here are some interesting things you need to know about this serious health condition.

  • Diabetes affects 29.1 million people or about 9.3% of the population in the US, and approximately 387 million people worldwide. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • One in two people with diabetes do not know that they have it. (International Diabetes Federation)
  • An additional 205 million people are expected to be diagnosed with the disease by 2035.  (International Diabetes Federation)
  • Total medical costs due to diabetes reached $245 billion in 2012. This includes $176 billion in direct healthcare costs and $69 billion in lost productivity. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • Diabetes is recognized as the 7th leading cause of death in the US in 2010. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)