New Diabetes Glucose-Monitoring Microchip

December 5, 2007

Checking for Diabetes with a Finger Stick Blood Sugar TestAn implantable RFID (radio frequency identification) microchip to continuously monitor blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes mellitus, which will remove the need for painful and expensive daily finger sticks, is under development.

According to Business Wire, the Digital Angel and VeriChip corporations are combining forces to produce the device, which will provide a continuous stream of accurate readings. The self-contained unit will be the first to measure blood glucose levels and allow them to be read externally. A functioning prototype of the sensor is expected to be working within six months.

Diabetics with high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) face many health complications including loss of eyesight, damage to internal organs, amputation and diabetic coma, which can lead to death. A diabetic with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) will experience dizzy spells and fainting, among other symptoms.

Over 240 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, which is considered to be a modern-day health epidemic. Over the next 20 years, the number is expected to balloon to at least 380 million diabetics. Presently, the average diabetic isn’t diagnosed until they’ve had the disease on an average of five to seven years.

Learn more about diabetes research.

Photo credit: Mark Wyatt

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