iQuickIt To Test Saliva-Based Glucometer

Two emergency physicians at the Hospital of Central Connecticut are leading a startup called iQuickIt that is working to develop a no-pain glucometer. The device uses saliva instead of blood.

The idea for a non-invasive glucometer is not new. Researchers with pharmaceutical companies and academic medical centers have been working on a number of technologies that will provide a less intrusive method of measure glucose. Those projects have had limited results.

In Israel, a startup named Integrity Applications is demonstrating a prototype of a non-invasive blood glucometer that clips to the earlobe and uses ultrasonic, electromagnetic, and thermal technologies to capture blood glucose levels. The company has yet to earn either EU or FDA pre-market approval for its product and has not published clinical accuracy data for the device, but said in November 2013 that it expects to earn pre-market approvals in 2014.

Another interesting story is that of C8 MediSensors, of San Jose, CA. With $50 million in VC backing, the company developed a non-invasive glucometer that was able to read glucose levels through the skin with an LED light and Raman spectroscopy sensors. The company never received FDA approval to market the product in the US, but did gain approval in Europe before losing financial momentum shutting down. Apple was rumored to have gutted the startup of its biosensor experts for its work on the iWatch.

In England, the Royal Berkshire Hospital and the University of Reading are working with Lein Applied Diagnostics to complete clinical trials for a prototype that uses a series of pictures of the eye to determine blood glucose level. These trials are promising, but are still in the early testing stages.

The saliva approach was pioneered last year by researchers at Purdue University, who unveiled a promising technology that would allow glucose readings to be extracted from saliva, tears, or urine. However, they were never able to accurately correlate those readings to blood glucose levels. If the device iQuickIt is developing can resolve that problem,  it would be a major step forward in non-invasive glucose monitoring and diabetes management at large.

The five-person iQuickIt team is focusing on raising money and awareness to pay for the company’ first round of clinical trial and has launched an Indiegogo campaign with a goal of $100,000.

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