Company announces development of implantable glucose monitor

For individuals with type 1 diabetes, the frequent need to test their blood sugar may be the most burdensome part of the condition. However, a new device may spare many people with the condition from having to test their glucose throughout the day.

A Maryland-based company recently announced that it has developed an implantable device that is capable of delivering accurate blood sugar readings without requiring individuals to prick their fingers to get blood samples.

The device is implanted beneath the skin of the wrist. It is self-powered and sends blood sugar readings wirelessly to a wristwatch-type device. This means that once the device is put in place, individuals with type 1 diabetes never have to break their skin again to measure their blood sugar.

The idea of using an implantable device to assess glucose levels has been around for a while. However, it has not been practicable until now, as readings were often inaccurate and unreliable. Officials from Sensors for Medicine and Science said their device is up to 96.8 percent accurate.

"Based on the promising results obtained, we plan to initiate more clinical trials in the very near future, including pursuing collaboration on artificial pancreas research," said Tim Goodnow, president and CEO of the company. "While still early, the pilot study showed comparable performance as current continuous glucose devices."

Regular blood sugar testing is one of the most important parts of managing type 1 diabetes. However, some people with the condition may need to check their glucose levels up to 10 times per day. With traditional finger prick-testing, this may leave individuals with many sore spots on their fingertips. The new implantable monitor may solve this problem.