Device using the eye to measure BGLs awarded patent

A device that uses the eye rather than finger pricking to measure blood glucose levels is one step further along development and closer to being made available to the public after being awarded a patent.

Currently known as an optical glucometer, the product has been developed by Prof Bill Baker after he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2003.

The theoretical physicist, from Furman University in South Carolina, who grew tired of finger-pricking tests decided to apply his skills to finding a less invasive way of checking glucose levels.

Prof Baker said: “I noticed that after I had a meal, my vision blurred, so I decided to try and work out why?”

At the time, an ophthalmologist friend explained that the lens of the eye reacts to changes in blood glucose levels, which made Prof Baker think about how it could be used to help people with type 2 diabetes.

With the help of Prof Paige Ouzts, an infraed laser physicist from Lander University, they began to explore options and together they developed the device, which uses infrared sensors to take a picture of the eye.

Explaining in more detail how the optical glucometer works, Prof Baker said: “You make an image of the eye in the appropriate wavelengths, and that can be used to determine actual glucose concentration in the fluid in your eye. It’s as good as a glucometer.”

Having spent years testing the technology on Prof Baker, the duo decided the device was finally ready for the next step and through Furmin University filed the patent which was granted.

The product will have more challenges to go through before it can be made available for use by the public. Tests will be needed to ensure it is safe and accurate before it can be approved by regulatory bodies and made available to the public.

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