Painless Diabetes Test

9/7/2008 WASHINGTON, DC Shirley Loo has two siblings with diabetes, so she thinks before she eats.

"You can lose a limb. You can die of diabetes. You can go blind with it," Loo told Ivanhoe.

She avoids sweets, reads labels and is taking part in a study looking at a new painless, bloodless diabetes test.

"I want to keep enjoying life and just have a great life and you need well being for that," Loo said.

A new machine could replace the traditional diabetes testing method of fasting, drinking a sweet glucose solution and taking a blood test.

"It did take a couple of hours while I was here for the whole test," Loo explained of her experience with the traditional diabetes testing method.

But the VeraLight Scout system has patients in and out in a flash. It uses fluorescent light to non-invasively measure the effects of high glucose levels in the forearm's connective tissue.

"We don't have to stick you to be able to identify those biochemical changes that may reflect diabetes," Robert Ratner, M.D., vice president for scientific affairs of the MedStar Research Institute in Washington, D.C., told Ivanhoe.

The machine shines a light onto the skin's surface and the layers of tissue immediately below. It measures how much light bounces back in very specific wavelengths.

"We believe the Scout measurement is as accurate, if not more so, than the fasting glucose levels in the blood," Dr. Ratner said.

Some doctors believe the test will be the future of diabetes detection! Loo hopes the pain-free device will get others to get tested sooner.

The Scout is only for initial diabetes detection, not daily blood glucose testing. Traditional diabetes detection can take about two hours, but the Scout system only takes about three minutes to produce a result. Scout measurements can be made any time of the day because fasting is not required.

MedStar Research Institute
(202) 787-5373


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