Bloodless glucometer uses light to check blood sugar in 20 seconds or less

9:03 am by | 16 Comments

When will diabetics in the U.S. get a bloodless glucometer that will allow them to check their blood sugar without a finger prick?

The short answer is, we don’t know for sure. But a company that’s wrapped up initial testing of its bloodless glucometer and closed a series B round of financing thinks it has a good shot at becoming the “first noninvasive technology with a real shot at diagnostic accuracy,” in the words of its CEO.

Grove Instruments’ Optical Bridge technology uses near-infrared spectroscopy to measure a person’s real-time blood sugar in less than 20 seconds. The company’s first product is an accessory-free, battery-operated personal glucose meter used on the fingertip or earlobe.

Grove is one of several companies working on a noninvasive diabetes test using spectroscopy including DIRAmed, C8 MediSensors and InLight Solutions. Challenges in developing devices using this technique have included water interference and low signal-to-noise ratio, but Grove thinks it has developed solutions to these problems.

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“Yes, we work in near-infrared spectroscopy space, but our methodology and our particular construct is unique within the space,” said CEO Arthur Combs. “We have strong validation that we have unique technology.”

That validation has come in the form of funding through 10 SBIR grants awarded by the NIDDK NIH and a loan from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Accelerator Program, Combs said.

It’s also come in the form of results from a large study conducted last fall to test the device’s measurements against standard blood glucose determination. The company collected nearly 4,000 data pairs; the results, which are pending publication, indicate that the device was able to meet the ISO 15197 standard for accuracy, Combs said.

Over the past few decades, diabetes researchers have studied with varied success a number of noninvasive ways to measure glucose including the use of saliva, breath and the watery substance at the front of the eye. Other companies currently developing or awaiting approval on noninvasive diabetes testing devices include the Israeli company Integrity Applications — which is anticipating approval in 2013, Echo Therapeutics and OrSense.

Research has demonstrated that self-monitoring of blood glucose has been associated with better glycemic control in type 1 diabetics and can improve health outcomes. “We’re not doing this just because people are babies and won’t stick their finger,” Combs said, adding that barriers to adherence of regular blood glucose testing include pain, blood aversion, complicated testing methods, embarrassment and cost. “Everybody has their own reasons why they don’t test. Our opportunity is to get everyone to benefit.”

The U.S. market for glucose monitoring, currently dominated by Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Laboratories, Roche, Bayer AG and Medtronic, was forecast by the Medtech Insight division of Elsevier Business Intelligence to reach $4 billion by next year.

Formerly known as VivaScan Corp., Grove has been developing this technology for several years. Earlier this year it raised a $2.4 million series B. Its pipeline also includes a professional glucometer for use by providers in screening for diabetes and prediabetes, and a continuous glucose monitor that could be part of the coveted artificial pancreas, according to its website.

[Photo from Grove Instruments]

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Deanna Pogorelc

By Deanna Pogorelc MedCity News

Deanna Pogorelc is a Cleveland-based reporter who writes obsessively about life science startups across the country, looking to technology transfer offices, startup incubators and investment funds to see what’s next in healthcare. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ball State University and previously covered business and education for a northeast Indiana newspaper.
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16 comments
duffit
duffit

why should they cut their gravy train with crazy prices for strips.


kakki
kakki

Are supplies needed with the new type meter to rest the level of blood sugar as with the current type type needing test strips?

Rajeev Chander Sharma
Rajeev Chander Sharma

From where to buy this infrared (blood-less) glucometer? Write to me address of website selling it. <rajeevnastik@gmail.com> 

gcannonjr
gcannonjr

They wont approve it here because of the pharm companys and greed they make to much money off of the test strips so this would not be profitable... so no money = no bloodless glucometer unless you can show them how they can profit more by this it is a no go....

ShaylaJohnson
ShaylaJohnson

I would love to be a tester for the product when it comes to the market. My mom fingers are num due to having to stick herself so much.

John R Diaz
John R Diaz

I use a pump and the constant BG monitoring on my fingers and arm are driving me CRAZY . How long do we have to wheat for this to go on the public market. I think this would help me and others like me live a better lifestyle

randomtorok
randomtorok

I would really love this.   After a couple weeks of testing four times a day there isn't a finger that doesn't permanently hurt.    What I'd really like to see is a sensor implanted under the skin that sends a signal back to a smartphone app.   Then the signal could be sent to an insulin pump and the two could work in tandem too moderate sugar levels.

soumyaranjandas
soumyaranjandas

“We’re not doing this just because people are babies and won’t stick their finger,” Combs said, adding that barriers to adherence of regular blood glucose testing include pain, blood aversion, complicated testing methods, embarrassment and cost.

saleem
saleem

Please hurry to bring this meter out for testing glucose levels pleae please 

Mrs Tors
Mrs Tors

Where can I find a non invasive glucose monitor? Tnks.

DelGuerrero
DelGuerrero

All this blood-less non invasive glucose meter info and talk is 100% useless and 100% worthless unless it is being sold somewhere. If there is no place to buy it and it can not be obtained, what is the point of even wasting your time reading about it or looking into it ? If i am wrong which i don't think i am, email me at [email protected] and let me know where i can buy such a thing. otherwise, like i said before, all this talk is just nonesense.

McKelvain2001
McKelvain2001

I got overly excited when reading this article and I am sending prayers of hope that this does come to us very soon. I am a 37yr old with type II diabetes that is slowly becoming type I. Something about my pancreas and the insulin it makes is slowly dwindling. Anyway, I was diagnosed at 19 with type II and have had the battle with the pricking of my fingers and arms for years. I hate it. My fingers get rough, peel, bubble and my arms look like they have some sort of childhood disease because of all the little red marks left from pricking for measuring my blood glucose. 

We should not have to endure this. I am not embarrassed by any of it except when people start asking me about my arms. Just hate that it hurts my fingers more than anything. We as diabetics have a longer healing process and higher chance of infection and pricking the skin to make it bleeds seems like an illness waiting to happen. I would so totally pay for all the effort in getting this completed and out to everyone that needed it. I know it will be costly, but I for one would pay good money to have something that isn't going to break my skin, cause bruising or bloody looking spots or cause any pain to my fingers. Please get this done and out to us. 

Thank you to those that have finally thought of this and is pushing to get it done. 

Randall1
Randall1

How do I get a blood glucosmeter?

cindytype2
cindytype2

I have type 2 diabetes and peripheral neuropathy and I do not check my blood sugar like I am supposed to.  It is painful and hard for me to do.  Please hurry with this meter.  This is the answer to my prayers and I am sure other diabetics also.

Paul Antcliffe
Paul Antcliffe

Hello Deanna, a facebook friend, in America, sent me a link to your fascinating article, which you presented in a way that leaves me most uplifted by the possibilities of a bloodless glucometer. Please permit me to explain the reason for feeling an urge to patter on the keyboard. Fortunately, my awkward case of diabetes is now safely in remission thanks to a mix of knowledge, using myself as a human guinea pig and support from a Sheffield heart support group, who have ties to the best gym membership scheme in Britain with over 17,000 unlimited members and thousands more part-time participants. In fact 1 in 7 of British Olympians use some of the very same facilities, in addition, even the American Olympic Diving Team are using their facilities and are made to feel at home in South Yorkshire. Above and beyond all that rehabilitation officers at the very same gym have now rehabilitated over 1000 people with an array of awkward illnesses – other friends are out there too. I do think the bloodless glucometer would be of great benefit; personally I am not a big fan of all the everyday mechanics of the blood-testing regime, although I do want to know the results and go for regular testing. Blood testing and other monitoring is still required when diabetes has gone. Sheffield’s main GP referral officer has been sent a copy of this post and a personal plea will be made in his shell-like (ear) too. On Friday, 6th July 2012, our local gym is holding a free Health Awareness Day, at the award winning Hillsborough branch, with the Lord Mayor of Sheffield coming to meet us all. Our famous Cardiac Olympics will be rolled out again – the alternative games aimed at 45s and overs, which provides gentle competition. The aforementioned event is free to all, including lunch, starts at 11 am. Many thanks again to you all, for putting the bloodless glucometer on my radar; I will certainly play my role in raising awareness when opportunities present, best wishes and kind regards a British facebook friend from England.

Jeanette Gadd
Jeanette Gadd

Have had Type 1 diabetes for 47 years. I am now 70 and its getting harder and harder to detect the lows. Have had several bad episodes, and have gone un- conscious. If I can help in any way to hurry this project, please let me know. Thanks, Jeanette