Autonomy in Blood Monitoring – rationed out for adults

The relatively new devices and systems for near patient testing of Blood Sugar (Diabetics) and Warfarin levels (INR) in people needing blood thinning are covertly rationed by the health services. New devices and technology are always advancing, but there is so much invested in Warfarin or Diabetic clinics and the staff to back them up, that change never happens fast enough. Here are several examples… Will the health services in the UK act quickly to adopt? Of course not. There will be rationing by delay, exclusion, omission, prioritisation, restriction and obfuscation of the truth. At a cost of £150 for the FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System most diabetics would say great…but the regional health services, despite being pre-warned since 2011, have not approved..  Autonomy, like all the Health Services, is rationed out.

in August 2011 Oslo and Norway in Medgadget reported: New Sweat Sensors for Detecting Low Blood Glucose Levels and Other Conditions

on 25th August 2014 researchers at Princetown in the US announced: New: Blood Sugar Monitoring Without Needle Prick

Engineers at Princeton University have developed a method to test blood sugar levels by means of a laser light that is capable of reading through the epidermal layer on the palm of the hand, eliminating the need to draw blood….

Engineers at Princeton University have developed a method to test blood sugar levels by means of a laser light that is capable of reading through the epidermal layer on the palm of the hand, eliminating the need to draw blood…

“We are working hard to turn engineering solutions into useful tools for people to use in their daily lives,” says senior researcher and electrical engineering professor Claire Gmachl. “With this work we hope to improve the lives of many diabetes sufferers who depend on frequent blood glucose monitoring.”

According to researchers, the method is safe and rather than causing damage to skin cells, the light waves are partially absorbed in the body’s sugar molecules and the level of absorption provides the reading.

It’s also accurate, says lead study author and electrical engineering graduate student Sabbir Liakat.

In order to be useful, a glucose monitor must measure blood sugar levels within 20 percent accuracy and Liakat says this method is 84 percent accurate.

“It works now but we are still trying to improve it,” says Liakat, referring to the next step of paring down to portable size the bulky laboratory machine, which is likely a question of eliminating the need for its elaborate cooling system.

While glucose monitoring by means of light waves is not a new concept, the key to the Princeton method is their success at maneuvering infrared waves.

Current proposed methods like the Grove Instruments Optical Bridge employ near-infrared waves, which are not as accurate because they interact with many acids and chemicals in the skin in addition to sugar molecules.

Prick-less methods for glucose monitoring, however, are developing rapidly and could soon become a reality.

One such example is the much buzzed-about partnership of Google and Novartis to create a glucose monitoring contact lens, for research indicates tear drops are just as useful as blood drops in this field.

On Feb 4th at meddeviceonline: Abbott’s Needle-Free Glucose Monitor Receives CE Mark For Children Aged 4 To 17 Years

…Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre system is currently available in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain,Sweden and the United Kingdom. ….
Read more: New: Blood Sugar Monitoring Without Needle Prick ….

1 Year ago on 15th January 2015 Lydia Ramsey in “Popular science” announced: Stick-On Tattoo Measures Blood Sugar Without Needles

9 months ago on 16th July 2015 the BBC announced that, at the University of Leeds: Lasers mean no needle for University of Leeds’ diabetes check – A laser sensor to monitor blood sugar levels without penetrating the skin of people with diabetes is under development by the University of Leeds. (They did not pay homage to Princetown…)

….The new device has a piece of silica glass with ions that shine, or fluoresce, when a low-power laser light hits them.

With the user’s finger on the glass the fluorescence varies in relation to the concentration of glucose in their blood….

And on Amazon: Hypoglycaemia Low Blood Sugar Alarm Watch

Mike Hoskins reported Jan 2014: Testing Your Glucose Levels Using… Saliva? – Healthline

 

 

 

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About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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