Diabetes is a long term chronic disease that can only be controlled and not cured. The World Health Organisation estimates that the disease affects over 370 million people who may have to take up to 10 blood samples on a daily basis. In the UK alone, there are 2.8 million people suffering from diabetes. The disease can lead to many health complications, even death, if the patient does not manage it properly.
It is estimated that the blood glucose measurement market exceeds £14 billion worldwide and it is expected to maintain its growth. At present most blood glucose measurement is based on invasive, unhygienic and painful finger pricks. Currently there are no continuous blood glucose monitors available to diabetic patients. The Swansea technology is a minimally-invasive continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system coupled with a secure and intelligent wireless mobile network that allows the successful management of the disease. The system can also be used to alert health professionals and the patient's next of kin of any hyperglycaemic episodes. This is extremely valuable as patients can suffer a potentially lethal drop in blood glucose levels when asleep.The sensing aspect of the device is based on the novel properties of the nanoscale electronic materials which exhibit high electrochemical activity, glucose sensitivity, chemical stability and biocompatibility. The technology is minimally invasive and hygienic in that no blood or piercing of the skin is required. It also allows for ease of application and is continuously wearable for severable days. The technology consists of a disposable, wearable patch.
In addition to diabetes this technology could also be used for other biomarkers so that other devices could be devised to provide continuous monitoring of a number of diseases. In particular the technology could be tailored to detect other chronic diseases such as is chaemic disease.
UK patent applications for device (GB1203977.2, 2012) and sensor technology (GB1312669.3, 2013) were filed by Swansea University. Swansea is seeking companies wishing to licence this technology or collaborate in co-development.