The World’s First Needle-Free Diabetes Test

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose — also called blood sugar — is too high. Although there's no cure for diabetes, it can be managed with medication. Of course, one of the requirements in checking blood sugar levels is the dreaded finger-prick. In fact, it’s estimated that 30% of people with diabetes experience anxiety over the process, but soon they may not need to. Researchers at the University of Newcastle in Australia have developed the world’s first needle-free diabetes test that measures glucose levels from saliva, not blood. A person simply licks a thin sensor about the size of a stick of gum. That reaction creates an electrical current that can be measured to reveal the body’s glucose level on a smartphone app. The concentrations of glucose in saliva are much smaller than in blood, so developing a diabetes test that could accurately measure them wasn’t easy, but the sensor is reportedly extremely accurate. Australian researchers plan to begin construction on a dedicated manufacturing facility before the end of the year, with the goal of producing devices by 2023.