Healthcare technology is looking to take the sting out of daily life for diabetics. Amay Bandodkar, a researcher at the University of California in San Diego has developed a temporary tattoo that is proving to be just as accurate at reading glucose measures as a traditional finger-stick needle device.
The temporary tattoo, as they’re calling it, is a sticker that contains a flexible sensor that measures glucose by using a mild electrical current instead of a needle. This non-invasive technology will help to serve a broader patient population and it will help to cut down on the number of people who avoid measuring their glucose for fear of needles, pain or blood. The Proof of Concept Study posted on Analytical Chemistry states: “Correlation of the sensor response with that of a commercial glucose meter underscores the promise of the tattoo sensor to detect glucose levels in a noninvasive fashion.”
These devices are durable too—one temporary tattoo can measure glucose levels in a patient multiple times, for at least a day. And the price point is affordable, with temporary tattoos costing only a few cents each to produce.
This technology has a tremendous amount of future potential. Bandodkar has already announced that upcoming iterations of the device will have bluetooth capabilities allowing the data to be easily shared with a patient’s smartphone, their doctor, their EHR, or to be stored in a data cloud. You can now add the human body to the list of “connected devices” on the Internet of Things (IoT). The temporary tattoo could also monitor levels of numerous other blood compounds like medications, alcohol, metabolites, and even illegal drugs.