For decades, researchers, scientists and people living with diabetes have searched for a non-invasive way to continuously measure glucose.
Enter the power of light: C8 MediSensors’ optical glucose monitoring technology is a breakthrough in glucose monitoring science. Completely non-invasive, this new technology promises a new glucose monitoring experience.
As you are probably already aware CGM or continuous Glucose Monitors have been available to us for quite a while now and range from individual devices to combined insulin pumps with built in CGM.
I was very lucky to have received an invite from C8 MediSensors to view their new Non Invasive CGM along with some fellow bloggers from Input, Insulin Independent, Every Day Ups and Downs – A Diabetes Blog all of course are certainly worth reading.
So the day started in London at a Consultancy Company who were great and had everything prepared for us bloggers (Nice sandwiches mmmm) as we can be hard work sometimes ha ha, we were all very excited to see this new CGM device and find out just how it works – not forgetting how much it costs. All the guys were very open and the day in my mind was for us bloggers to provide feedback on what we thought of the CGM which will also be operated using a smartphone app with various functions/log books etc so we all put our pennies worth into this as well.
I have been lucky enough to trial the Medtronic Enlite CGM Sensor and the Animas Vibe CGM Sensor of which both work in conjunction with the Insulin Pump which is great but still not perfect but they are certainly getting there. Both these devices use a wireless CGM sensor that in invasive ie literally goes into your skin that I found a little uncomfortable sometimes but you did get used to it very fast, I also struggled sometimes to find space on my body to insert the sensor as I was also wearing a canular for the insulin pump. All this said the technology on these devices is incredible and gives you a good trend on your blood sugar levels however you will still need to take regular finger prick tests to calibrate the CGM and this is the same for all CGM’s at the moment.
The product itself is a non-invasive optical CGM and is currently classed as a ‘investigational device’, so not yet available for sale anywhere but hopefully this will change very soon – even this year but you all know what red tape is like. C8 MediSensors will hopefully receive European CE mark approval towards the end of this year and plan to launch in the UK and Europe first so that is good news for us.
The Power of Light: Using Raman Spectroscopy to Measure Glucose
Our technique involves shining a monochromatic light source into the skin and detecting the scattered light. The colors generated by Raman scattering are very specific to the exact chemical structure of the molecules in the sample. The molecules’ various shapes, sizes, atoms, and types of chemical bonds will generate unique Raman spectra, a unique Raman “fingerprint” that can be used to non-invasively read and measure glucose.
I managed to find this info video on YouTube which I found very helpful but of course the best info would be found on the C8 MediSensors own website
C8 MediSensor info which I hope you will find useful.
- CGM uses an optical light which was taken from Raman spectrometer which in its orignal state would be the size of an oven but the team have managed to minimise this to the size of a matchbox which is truly amazing.
- The device needs to go against the skin which needs to be clear of hair or anything that would obstruct the optical light, the device would update you on your smartphone if the light is broken.
- There is no separate control for this CGM as it is all done through your smartphone using te C8 MediSensors App which is still being fine tuned to meet our needs, you should be able to view you BG level, log books and lots of other useful info which is still to be confirmed.
- At the moment the CGM is designed for use only by adults but I am sure this will change in the future as we never know what is around the corner.
- The C8 MediSensor is about the size of a match box and similar in weight to a small mobile phone, there is also a separate battery pack to power the CGM of which both items are worn in a very non sexy looking material band – please remember this is brand new so like everything I am sure the C8 team will be working on revamped accessories etc.
- A huge plus point for me is the fact you can put it on and off whenever you want as it is non invasive – even if it is worn a=in a rather large band.
- As this device uses optical light it can be affected when you are in very bright areas or even sunshine but the guys have a special material light shield which fits over the CGM to eliminate any sunshine issues – but to be honest you possibly would not want to be wearing this device on the beach, well not yet anyway.
- The CGM can store a rolling 4 months worth of data which should be more than enough info for most of us.
- Initial calibration is between 45-60 minutes and when placing the CGM Sensor onto your skin it can take 15 minutes to warm u.
- COST – well a typical CGM Sensor alone could cost thousands of pounds per year but we were given an indication that the C8 MediSensor will retail at US$4,000 (approx £2,500 at today’s exchange rate). The shelf life would be up to 4 years so this one-off payment should in theory be it – this compared to invasive CGM would be far cheaper in comparison.
I hope the above has answered some of your questions and I must apologise if I have missed anything – please leave me a comment if you have any further questions ?
The Science Inside
Optical glucose monitoring leverages decades of technical innovation in optics, wireless, digital cameras, miniaturization and lessons learned from dozens of attempts at measuring glucose non-invasively. Utilizing a patent-protected process, our design will transmit a painless pulse of light into the skin to detect glucose levels. Paired with Bluetooth technology, the glucose reading will be transmitted wirelessly to an easy-to-use display application on an ordinary Android smartphone.
It was a real pleasure to meet the guys from C8 and Andrew from STWEM who arranged the event, it was quite refreshing to be speaking to a team that was open to the majority of our probing questions and they were free with the info, I hope that we as bloggers have given the team some valuable information to help enhance the device and I hope this will be a continued relationship with C8 – thanks again guys.
A New Experience Awaits
After eight years of research and development, we hope to make optical continuous glucose monitoring a reality for people with diabetes. Currently an investigational device and not available for sale, we plan to pursue regulatory approval and make this new technology available in Europe in 2012.
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