The Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) is almost ready with a new digital finger-pricking blood sugar machine that will not require repeated use of testing strips. Significantly, it will cost less than Rs 2 per blood sample and require 1,000 times less blood than what glucose meters use now. It will take only 10 seconds to know your blood glucose count.
Being developed by professor of biological sciences at BITS-Pilani, Dr Suman Kapur, the test will undergo final evaluation by July 15 and is expected to be ready for mass production by December.
The device is as handy as a gluco-metre but with a different chemistry. The major aim was to make a pocket-sized glucose testing device that is affordable and can be used for mass screening. Diabetics are required to test their blood often, each time costing around Rs 25. This test will bring the cost down to below Rs 2. Also only 1 or 2 picolitre of blood is required for the test which is 1,000 times lower that what is required now.
This low-cost rapid test will be a boon for India which plans to test five crore people for diabetes by the end of this year. India plans to screen all adult males above 30 years of age and pregnant women of all age groups for diabetes and hypertension in 100 districts across 21 states.
India is home to over 61 million diabetics — an increase from 50.8 million last year. By 2030, India’s diabetes burden is expected to cross the 100 million mark.
The country is also the largest contributor to regional mortality with 983,000 deaths attributable to the disease last year.