Medical Devices: University Of Washington Invents A Groundbreaking Smartphone Technology for Accurate Prediabetes Diagnosis – GlucoScreen
: The University of Washington's GlucoScreen is revolutionizing prediabetes diagnosis with its innovative smartphone-based system. Researchers from the university have developed a battery-free test strip capable of accurately measuring blood glucose levels, paving the way for more accessible and cost-effective at-home testing for prediabetes. With its compatibility with any smartphone featuring a standard touchscreen and camera flash, GlucoScreen aims to increase awareness of prediabetes and encourage early intervention to prevent the progression to type 2 diabetes.
Prediabetes is a largely undetected condition, with many individuals unaware of their diagnosis. Making diagnostic technologies more accessible could aid in early detection, prompting lifestyle changes to halt the development of type 2 diabetes. GlucoScreen seeks to achieve this by tapping into the widespread use of smartphones.
Anandghan Waghmare, a researcher involved in the study, explains that the traditional method of blood glucose testing involves applying a drop of blood to a test strip, which then reacts chemically with enzymes. A glucometer is used to analyze the reaction and provide a blood glucose reading. GlucoScreen takes this concept and incorporates inexpensive circuitry to communicate the data generated by the reaction to any smartphone via simulated tapping on the screen. The app processes the data and displays the results on the phone, alerting the user if they are at risk and should consult their physician.
The GlucoScreen system doesn't require a battery. Instead, a solar sensor is attached to the smartphone camera flash. When the app is used to obtain blood glucose data from the test strip, the smartphone flash powers the test strip, allowing it to relay the data. The strip then communicates with the phone haptically, using a series of touches on the smartphone touchscreen to transmit the data. The data analysis is carried out on the phone itself.
Jason Hoffman, another researcher on the project, highlights the simplicity and adaptability of the GlucoScreen system. He explains that the built-in capacitive touch screen, found in every smartphone, allows for widespread use. The system doesn't require low-level access to the capacitive touch data, meaning there's no need to access the operating system. GlucoScreen is designed to be "plug and play," working off-the-shelf with any smartphone model once the app is installed.
A study on the effectiveness of the new Medical Devices
was published in the peer reviewed journal: The Proceedings of the Association for Computing Machinery on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable, and Ubiquitous Technologies.
The study findings on GlucoScreen showcased its impressive results. The technology was tested in vitro with artificial glucose solutions and five different phones, compared to two common glucometers, AccuChek and True Metrix.
The mean absolute error (MAE) for GlucoScreen was found to be 4.52 mg/dl and 3.7 mg/dl for the two test strips, compared to 4.98 mg/dl and 5.44 mg/dl for the AccuChek and True Metrix glucometers. In a clinical study involving 75 patients, GlucoScreen's MAE was 10.47 mg/dl, while the AccuChek glucometer had a 9.88 mg/dl MAE.
GlucoScreen's performance is on par with commonly available over-the-counter blood glucose testing devices. With further development and validation, GlucoScreen holds the potential to facilitate large-scale, lower-cost diabetes screening. While GlucoScreen is currently focused on glucose testing, the smartphone-based technology could be extended to build other readerless electrochemical assays in the future. By leveraging the ubiquity of smartphones,GlucoScreen could play a significant role in combating the growing prevalence of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Glucoscreen will be available commercially in leading global markets by the third quarter of 2023.
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