Needle-Free Diabetes Care: The Future of Diabetes Self-Care

Medical technology companies are focusing more than ever on products that deliver cheaper, faster, more efficient patient care. Bioengineering is taking leaps and medical technology innovations are at an all-time rise. Needle-Free diabetes care is one such path-breaking technology currently under development.


Diabetes self-care can be a real pain, literally. The constant need to draw blood for glucose testing, the need for daily insulin shots and the heightened risk of infection from all that poking are some of the daily concerns for it. The best options available today for automating most of the complicated daily process of blood sugar management are continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps however they don’t completely remove the need for skin pricks and shots.

The new skin in the game is a technology being developed by Echo Therapeutics (Philadelphia, PA), that would replace the poke with a patch. A transdermal biosensor that reads blood analytes through the skin without drawing blood is what the company is aiming for. The technology puts the patient’s blood chemistry within signal range of a patch-borne biosensor with the help of a handheld electric-toothbrush-like device that removes just enough top-layer skin cells. The sensor collects one reading per minute and sends the data wirelessly to a remote monitor. When levels go out of the patient’s optimal range, this triggers audible alarms thus tracking glucose levels over time.

Apart from this, there are various other start-ups as well working on the similar technology. GlucoSense, a spin-out of the University of Leeds funded by NetScientific is developing a non-invasive device based on photonics technology. A Dutch startup called NovioSense is working on an implantable glucose sensor that uses tear fluid to measure glucose levels. Let’s see who gets there first.

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