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From Massachusetts, USA:

Are there any non-invasive devices to measure blood sugar?


At this time, the only non-invasive glucose sensor is the GlucoWatch, which measures glucose in interstitial fluid on the arm, not blood glucose. Cygnus, the company that made the GlucoWatch, sold its assets to Animas Corporation, which continues to sell the sensors for the GlucoWatch. The GlucoWatch is unable to obtain readings in the presence of perspiration and often causes significant skin irritation, and therefore has limitations in its usefulness.

If you are looking for alternatives to traditional finger stick blood glucose monitoring, as of April 2006, there are two FDA-approved sensors, the Medtronic MiniMed Guardian RT and the DexCom STS. While not non-invasive, these devices work significantly more reliably than the GlucoWatch did. Other companies are working on continuous sensors, including Abbott Diabetes Care, which has a product called Navigator that has been tested extensively in children.

Using these sensors effectively requires training and an understanding of the differences between blood glucose and interstitial glucose, as well as understanding the limitations of the particular sensor system itself. With that said, many studies have shown that these devices can be very helpful in reducing the time spent hyperglycemic and in preventing hypoglycemia.

For more information, see our page about continuous glucose sensors.


Original posting 4 May 2006
Posted to Research: Monitoring


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:08
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