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UCSD Researchers Create Non-Invasive Sweat Sensor for Glucose Levels

In tests, the device accurately predicts blood glucose levels before and after meals with 95% accuracy.

It seems new sweat sensors that provide health data are trending right now. In that vein, a recent Medgadget article discussed the latest in non-invasive sweat sensor technology. This one comes from a team of researchers at the University of California San Diego, and it’s intended to replace the undesirable finger pricks typically needed for accurate glucose level readings in patients with diabetes.

The testing process couldn’t be more simple; users place their finger on the polyvinyl alcohol hydrogel sensor for 1 minute while it collects enough sweat to test. The glucose in the sweat is detected via an enzymatic reaction that creates an electrical charge. The data is then deciphered by an algorithm that corrects the reading for each individual user based on a monthly finger prick calibration. The device measures glucose levels on the skin and converts them into accurate blood sugar “estimates.” However, those estimates have proven about 95% accurate in tests on volunteers. 

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