(USA)

Researchers at the University of Texas have developed biosensors that can monitor diabetes from minuscule amounts of sweat.

The wearable diagnostic biosensor – made by a team of biomedical engineers – ‘measures three diabetes-related compounds’.

“Type 2 diabetes affects so many people. If you have to manage and regulate this chronic problem, these markers are the levers that will help you do that. We believe we’ve created the first diagnostic wearable that can monitor these compounds for up to a week, which goes beyond the type of single use monitors that are on the market today,” said Dr Shalini Prasad, professor of bioengineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.

The plan is for the wearable device to send information to an app on a smartphone.

Prasad continued: “With the app we’re creating, you’ll simply push a button to request information from the device. If you measure levels every hour on the hour for a full week, that provides 168 hours’ worth of data on your health as it changes.”

She added: “People can take more control and improve their own self-care. A user could learn which unhealthy decisions are more forgiven by their body than others.”

Wearables are playing an increasingly important role in healthcare. They have the potential to inform people when they are getting ill all and can help personalise treatments for diseases, including Parkinson’s.