The foundation of diabetics care is the regular monitoring of blood sugar levels. But doctors say that many patients do not adhere to this routine because of inconvenience or discomfort, as this requires multiple blood samples to be taken by puncturing their fingers or forearm. However, researchers from University of Texas have discovered a new non-invasive test, using optical coherence tomography, which will end the pain of pricking for diabetes patients.
Optical Coherence Tomography uses advanced photonics and fiber optics to obtain images of tissues. It uses infrared light waves that reflect off the internal structures within tissues to send back a picture and information about the tissue, in this case, including blood sugar levels.
A pilot study of OCT was done on 15 healthy volunteers when images of the left forearm were taken every 10 to 20 seconds for over three hours. Doctors took 420 blood glucose measurements from the volunteers using blood analysis for comparison. They also recorded 8,435 OCT images.
Researchers at the end of the pilot study concluded that OCT was an effective non-invasive, real-time, sensitive monitoring technique for assessment of blood glucose concentration in human subjects during an OGTT (oral glucose tolerance test). The high quality resolution of images and accuracy are the advantages of the OCT approach, which needs more studies to validate the results.