Breathalyzer Helps Patients Non-Invasively Check Blood Glucose

By MedTech Intelligence Staff
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The finger-prick alternative may help diabetic patients more effectively monitor their condition.

Professors from Western New England University (Springfield, MA) designed a breathalyzer that enables diabetic patients to non-invasively check their blood glucose levels. The handheld device works by detecting the levels of acetone in breath, which may be a more appealing approach to blood glucose monitoring versus the finger-stick method. According to one of the device designers, Ronny Priefer, Ph.D., professor of medicinal chemistry at Western New England University, the percentage of patients with diabetes who do not engage in finger-stick testing due to its invasive and painful nature is as high as 66%. These patients should be monitoring their blood glucose four to six times daily.

Priefer, who developed the device along with Michael Rust, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical engineering at the university, is hoping to have the device on the market by the end of 2017. The design team is working on making the device, which is the size of a small book, much smaller. Priefer and Rust presented research involving the device at the 2016 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Annual Meeting and Exposition earlier this month.

(left to right) Michael Rust, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Ronny Priefer, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry
(left to right) Michael Rust, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Ronny Priefer, Ph.D., Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at Western New England University (Image courtesy of Western New England University)

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