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Blood Glucose Monitoring Device for Diabetes

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People with diabetes are one step closer to more easily checking their blood glucose levels with a non-invasive device for detecting and monitoring blood glucose levels, which is currently in development. The hand-held breathalyzer device detects acetone, which has been linked to high blood glucose levels in the breath. The research is being presented at the 2016 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Annual Meeting and Exposition, the world’s largest pharmaceutical sciences meeting.

Although testing technology has improved in recent decades, with the finger stick testing, as many as 67 percent of people with diabetes may not comply because it is invasive and somewhat painful. Yet, lack of blood-glucose monitoring can result in serious diabetes-related complications.

“We believe this technology will be a great improvement in the lives of people with diabetes,” said Priefer. “It is the first non-invasive medical device for detecting and monitoring diabetes by connecting one’s acetone levels with their blood glucose. We believe it is a necessary alternative to the finger-prick approach for people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.”

Priefer and his team tested the device they developed, that checks a patient’s blood glucose levels, in a blind study of 50 people: 26 did not have diabetes, 16 had type 2 diabetes, and 8 people had type 1 diabetes. Using the device in conjunction with the sensor slides, when patients blow into the device, readings are immediately taken. The acetone level is instantly correlated to a blood glucose level, which allows patients to determine how much insulin they need to take when their glucose levels are high. Stage 1 clinical results found clear correlations between blood glucose levels and breath acetone. The only outlier found was in a small number of smokers, whom had higher levels of acetone in the breath due to the combustion of tobacco.

Priefer’s goal is to have a device by the end of 2017 that patients can bring home and track their blood glucose levels over time. He is also working to make the device even smaller.


Story from the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. Please note: The content above may have been edited to ensure it is in keeping with Technology Networks’ style and length guidelines.


Priefer, R. (2016). 04M1130 - Diabetes Monitoring: Just a Breath Away!, speaking at the 2016 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Annual Meeting and Exposition.