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Noninvasive Blood Glucose Monitors

Noninvasive monitoring means checking blood glucose levels without puncturing the skin for a blood sample. Over the years, scientists have been trying to find noninvasive ways for people with diabetes to measure their blood glucose. Most methods of monitoring blood glucose require a blood sample, usually obtained by using an automatic lancing device on a finger. Some meters use a blood sample from a less sensitive area, such as the upper arm, forearm, or thigh. Other devices use a beam of light instead of a lancet to pierce the skin.

Researchers are developing other methods of noninvasive monitoring. Potential ways to determine blood glucose levels include

  • shining a beam of light onto the skin or through body tissues
  • measuring the energy waves (infared radiation) emitted by the body
  • applying radio waves to the fingertips
  • using ultrasound
  • checking the thickness (also called the viscosity) of fluids in tissue underneath the skin

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