The technology developed by scientists at the National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology would make it unnecessary for diabetes patients to take blood samples daily to check their glucose levels.
The team is looking to commercialize medical equipment based on the technology within five years.
If the method becomes commercially available, “more people are expected to measure their blood glucose levels by themselves,” said Koichi Yamakawa, a senior official of the national institutes.
According to the health ministry, an estimated 9.5 million adults are “strongly suspected of suffering from diabetes” in Japan.
Patients regularly taking insulin injections have to measure their glucose levels daily on their own, taking blood samples by puncturing the tips of their fingers with needles.
Although the needles have improved and cause less pain, daily collection of blood is still a troublesome task for patients.
The new method measures blood glucose levels based on the strength of absorbed laser after exposing fingers to an infrared laser.
To commercialize the technology, the researchers set up a start-up company. They plan to start a full-scale clinical study that will cover 300 diabetes patients the next fiscal year, working with a university hospital and other institutions.
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