urine glucose levels

Researchers at the Technological Institute of Chihuahua, Mexico, have developed a new device that measures glucose levels in urine.

The device, which is known as Glucosalarm, could end the need for finger-prick glucose testing in people with diabetes.

Glucosalarm is attached to a toilet, and transmits blood glucose readings to a smartphone. So far, Glucosalarm has been well received, being listed among the 10 most outstanding creations by innovators under 35 in a review by MIT Tech. Glucosalarm also won the Global Innovation Competition for Science and Technology for the Benefit of Mankind, in which it was pitted against 900 other technological developments.

Glucosalarm was developed through a collaboration between Carlos Bernal and Nancy Guerra. Bernal explained the motivation behind creating the device.

“Pricking a finger several times a day can lead to numbness and over-sensitivity to the simple touch of clothing, even the whole hand can become too painful to use for three or four days,” said Bernal.

“The patient activates the sensor via bluetooth for a smartphone then, when urinating, a few drops will be deposited on the collector where it is mixed with enzymes that react with the glucose present and produce a coloured compound; the sensor measures the intensity of the colour, calculates the concentration of glucose and sends the results to the phone in 15 to 40 seconds. If the result is too high an alert is sent to the family, the doctor, and even to an emergency number requesting an ambulance.

“Using the smartphone the patient can send the results to a doctor, family member or diabetes educator responsible of treatment, so that they are aware of the day-to-day glucose measurement,” he added.

Two international medical companies have expressed interest in manufacturing Glucosalarm. The device is currently in the third prototype stage. It is being tested on diabetes patients.