There will be a lot of adjustments in the lifestyle of a person diagnosed with diabetes. Doctors will advise reductions in your diet and additional things on your to-do list to keep your health in check. One of those reminders is the patient’s responsibility to track their blood glucose levels. Monitoring frequency will depend on the type of diabetes you were diagnosed with. A patient with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes may be advised to check blood sugar levels daily or several times a day.
For this reason, tracking blood sugar levels can sometimes be a hassle, especially when you are away from home. It’s a responsibility that needs attention, even when you are in the middle of something. In some cases, you’ll have to do it four to ten times every day. You have to draw blood several times a day, which can be truly inconvenient. Nevertheless, you have to be patient to keep your body in check. Your blood glucose record is vital information that doctors will use to determine your current health condition.
Since the monitoring method is described as a hassle and invasive, scientists have conducted different studies that could provide convenience. A research group from Kennesaw State University’s College of Computing and Software Engineering has invented a glucose tracker close to the size of a credit card. Based on the reports, the device offers a painless and less invasive way of tracking blood glucose levels. Maria Valero, the assistant professor of information technology at CCSE and director of KSU’s IoT at Service Research Group, led the study, also inspired by her father.
Witnessing her father drawing blood to check glucose levels worried her and pushed her to find an innovative process using advanced technology. “This is a sensor device that is non-invasive; that means that it doesn’t require anything related with blood samples or inserting needles in the body,” Valero explained. The team named the invention GlucoCheck, and it works with a sensor that shines a light on the human tissue — which can be on the earlobe or finger. A camera on the other end will serve as a scanner and will take a photo that could detect blood sugar levels. It is said that the device can provide results that are 90% accurate.
Aside from Professor Valero’s team, associate professor of exercise science Katherine Ingram, associate professor of information technology Hossain Shahriar, and three students helped devise the GlucoCheck. The research group has been working since January 2021 and is looking forward to making it commercially available soon. Their study is published in the online journal JMIR Formative Research.
“Our pilot study was very successful,” Valero said. “We are excited about how this device will help people with diabetes, which affects about one in every 10 people in the United States.” The study has reached the stage where the team has built a prototype of the device. “The way we gather and output the data is novel, and we will continue to work on ways to improve the glucose estimation model,” she said. A provisional patent application has been submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Professor Valero received help from Chris Cornelison, the director of Kennesaw State’s Office of Intellectual Property Development, to ensure that the invention is patentable.
Valero and her team have already tried the device on over 50 people. They’ll gather supplemental data on how it works on various skin pigmentation and thickness. Further information will be collected to ensure that GlucoCheck will provide the best for its future users. “We need to continuously improve the models and continuously improve the way that we are getting the data, so we are always in need of volunteers,” Valero said. To be involved, you can contact Professor Valero via her email, email@example.com. Moreover, students that were part of the research are also developing the GlucoCheck mobile application, which will be linked to Amazon’s Alexa.