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The Use of Painless Blood Glucose Testing Meters

written by: DulceCorazon • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 11/30/2010

Painless blood glucose testing meters are slowly being introduced into the market. Most of these testing meters are aimed at complementing the more traditional means of blood sugar monitoring. One example is the Cygnus GlucoWatch Biographer.

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    Overview

    Painless blood glucose testing meters are slowly but surely becoming the preferred method in testing blood glucose among diabetics. For years, self monitoring of blood glucose involves pricking the fingertip with a pointed lancet in order to obtain a small sample of blood. The blood sample is then placed on a disposable test strip, inserted into the glucose meter which measures the amount of glucose present in the blood. This procedure however, have proven painful for diabetics since sugar monitoring is frequently done on a regular basis. Although numerous blood sugar meters have come out that minimize the amount of blood required for a blood sugar sample, these modern models still bring inconvenience and pain to diabetics. Lately, several new blood glucose testing meters are being introduced to the market which promised to be painless.

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    Infrared Spectroscopy

    Researchers have been busy in developing new technologies for blood sugar testing without having to take blood samples from diabetics. One of these is the use of infrared spectroscopy. This technology measures glucose by shining a light beam on the skin. The process is painless and convenient. This technology, however, has yet to be fully developed, and there are still several details on the process that need to be ironed out.

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    MiniMed Continuous Glucose Monitoring System

    One of the earliest models in non invasive and painless blood glucose monitoring is the MiniMed continuous glucose monitoring system, which consists of a tiny catheter made of plastic. The said catheter is inserted under the skin and collects tiny amounts of liquid, which is then passed through a sensor to detect the amount of glucose present in the blood. The system is only recommended for occasional use. It cannot give readings for day to day blood glucose monitoring since it collects and reads measurements over a period of three days. A prescription from a specialist is needed by a diabetic to be able to buy this blood glucose monitoring device.

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    Cygnus GlucoWatch Biographer

    The Cygnus GlucoWatch Biographer is a device that is worn like a wristwatch. The device takes out small amounts of skin fluids and measures the sugar levels present in the fluids, thus, there is no need to puncture the skin to take blood samples. This device can take up to three glucose measurements for every hour during the next 12 hours. The GlucoWatch can show patterns and trends in the patient's blood glucose levels. It is best used for detecting cases of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. Like the MiniMed device, a prescription is required for purchase of the GlucoWatch.

    Most of these non-invasive painless blood glucose testing meters are still considered complementary devices to the standard fingerstick blood sugar monitoring devices, and their results are not considered as replacements for fingerstick-based blood sugar monitoring.

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    References

    MedicineNet: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=20554&page=4

    Diabetes.co.uk: http://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes_care/blood_glucose_monitor_guide.html

    Wellsphere: http://www.wellsphere.com/general-medicine-article/monitoring-blood-glucose-with-innovative-devices/655958