A Non-invasive Glucose Sensor?

non-invasive-glucose.jpgAnother report of the long sought after non-invasive glucose meter… this one is the size of a cell phone and will be available in a year:

Hong Kong scientists have invented a device to help diabetics measure their blood sugar painlessly for the first time – without pricking their fingers.
The size of a mobile phone, the instrument emits a weaker form of infrared, or near-infrared, which penetrates the skin on the finger and homes in on the bloodstream.
Out of the many components in the blood, the beam is able to identify bits of glucose through the frequency, or wavelengths, they transmit and the amount of blood sugar present would be displayed on the instrument in 10 seconds. 

Considering the near-infrared train wrecks that have preceeded this announcement, the device (if real) is quite an accomplishment. Unfortuantely, there is precious little information available regarding the system although their patent suggests the device does the following:

To predict the blood glucose level of the person using the NIR spectral scan an evaluation model was found based on a population of test subjects. The evaluation model relates NIR absorbance of blood vessels at a first and a second group of wavelengths to a glucose level of the blood vessels . The graph in figure 2 shows the relationship between the NIR absorbance of blood of a body part of the test subjects and the mean value of laboratory tested glucose levels of the test subjects at three sample wavelengths of 940nm, 1310nm and 1550nm. The reference glucose levels are obtained using proven standard laboratory tests on blood samples from the test population. The linear relationship is found using a least squares method. The standard deviation on the mean value of the tested glucose levels for the test population was 10% to 20%. 

Quite remarkably, the measurement system claims to use only six wavelenghts to measure glucose, a trace constituent, amid a background of interferring analytes.
I’m sorry, but I’m not going to hold my breath on this one but will certainly wish the scientific team “good luck, your technology will provide a substantial benefit to glucose testers.”