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Diabetes Patients Might Soon See End Of Painful Finger-Prick Blood Test

What if you had to prick your finger every day just to stay alive?

For those with diabetes, this is the reality of monitoring your blood glucose, which is important to ensure the levels in their blood do not reach points that are too high or too low.

According to John Jerrard, a 78-year-old retired pharmacist, it's one of the most challenging elements of living with his Type 1 diabetes.

“The most annoying thing is that you don’t get a day off. Every single day, the minute you get a bit blasé, that’s when it bites," John said.

“Finger-pricking is designed to do damage, it makes you bleed.”

John said the finger-prick blood test is worse than his insulin injections. Image: Supplied

John isn't the only one who feels this way about the finger-prick test. Sturt Eastwood, the CEO of Diabetes NSW & ACT and Diabetes Queensland, who also has Type 1 diabetes, said for him, it's not just a case of testing himself once a day.

“I’m probably on average [testing his glucose level] eight times a day," Sturt said.

You need to do that regularly to understand whether your glucose is actually going up or sitting stable or going down because you need to take action some time in advance of what your measurement really is.

Sturt pointed out that monitoring your glucose level as a person with diabetes could see you doing the finger prick test up to 20 times a day in some instances.

“In effect you’re stabbing yourself, making yourself bleed, just to keep yourself alive," he said.

Many diabetes patients would like to see a better alternative to the painful finger-prick blood test. Image: Getty

That's why The iQ Group Global are developing a replacement for finger-prick blood testing which is non-invasive and as easy as sticking a piece of gum on your tongue.

The new test identifies your glucose (sugar levels) through the use of saliva instead of blood. It's a welcome advancement when considering innovation in the diabetes space has been scarce for more than 30 years.

Based on The iQ Group Global's innovative Biosensor platform technology, ISO testing has shown the Saliva Glucose Biosensor can accurately monitor glucose levels at a rate 100 times more sensitive than commercial blood glucose sensors.

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This innovative technology will free people living with diabetes from having to use painful and invasive blood monitoring devices to manage their condition, giving them a better quality of life.

In Australia, approximately 1.7 million Australians have diabetes, the leading cause of blindness, amputation, heart disease, kidney failure and early death, with the majority being Type 2.

Simple action such as regular glucose monitoring for those with Type 2 can reduce the risk of diabetes related complications.

Thursday 14 November is World Diabetes Day. To find out more about diabetes, you can visit worlddiabetesday.org

Featured image: Getty