Needle-Free Diabetes? European MedTech Inventions which Painlessly Measure Blood Glucose!


Will the daily routine of finger pricking to monitor blood glucose levels finally come to an end for the millions worldwide living with Diabetes?

Every 6 seconds, a person dies from this chronic metabolic disease…Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic chronic disease that affects around 382 million people worldwide (and that was just in 2013)!

To monitor blood glucose levels diabetics have to frequently check their blood sugar by pricking their finger with a lancet to obtain a small blood sample.

Imagine having to prick your finger close to 10 times a day to know if you have normal blood sugar levels or to know if you can eat or not! Some companies in Europe are trying to find an alternative to this, so here’s a couple of examples from European Start-ups…


GlucoSense – London (UK)

GlucoSense is a spin-out company jointly formed and funded by NetScientific and the University of Leeds which is developing a non invasive device based on the technology of proprietary photonics.

Its basic component is a nano-engineered silica glass with ions that fluoresce in the infrared region when simulated by a low power laser.


The nodule on the device is where the patient places a forefinger in order to take a reading (Source: Glucosense)

When the glass is in contact with the user’s skin, the reflected fluorescence signal varies based on the concentration of glucose in their blood and one can acquire the glucose concentration measurement in less than 30 seconds.

NovioSense – Nijmegen (Netherlands)

NovioSense is a Dutch start-up working on an implantable glucose sensor uses tear fluid to measure glucose levels. The device consists of a 15 mm-long metal coil  coated in a hydrophilic gel. The flexible form factor allows the device to bend to conform to the surface of the lower eye lid where the sensor is placed.

The coil moves to the correct place in the eye and the gel coating hydrates swells to increase contact between the metal coil and the eye fluid.


Utilising state of the art low-power and highly sensitive ASIC technology developed by Fraunhofer IMS together with NovioSense, the device can measure minute changes in glucose levels in the tears that are representative of blood glucose levels.

GlucoWise – London (UK)

 28/11/16 update: check out our interview with the co-founder for more details on GlucoWise!

GlucoWise is a new product from MediWise (in London), a medtech knowledge-driven company that empowers individuals to take control of their health. It was founded in 2010 by a team of entrepreneurs in London and aims to tackle relevant health problems.

The GlucoWise sensor is positioned to gently squeeze the skin between the thumb and forefinger or the earlobe to measure blood glucose levels. The device then displays the reading in real-time on the screen without having to pierce the skin.


And of course, as we mentioned earlier this week, there is also the much talked about Google Lens which is being developed in conjunction with Novartis. Trials are due to start for the lens in 2016 (read more through Reuters).

An alternative to finger pricking for blood glucose monitoring will definitely appear as a joint effort between different fields including biotech, materials sciences and electronics. I mean, there is even talk of a breathalyser to monitor glucose levels like how alcohol levels in drivers are measured by roadside authorities.

But the question is, who will get there first?

Will a small start-up be able to beat big pharma companies in the pursuit of a commercially available non-invasive glucose meter?

Feature Image Credit: The Google Lens which is being developed for Trials in collaboration with Novartis (Source: Google)
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  • Carlos Azuaje

    Awesome stuff!

  • Pb

    Great devices!!
    Can anyone guide how and from where these device can be bought?? I am from India.

  • Stanley Robert Clark

    Please send details

  • Hi Stanley,

    Thank you for your comment. I can only recommend you contact the companies themselves for further information.

  • Kaleem

    Where can i buy this from ??

  • annamalai

    want to know where it is avail in india

    • Hi Annamalai, thank you for your comment.

      But we do not manufacture or have any affiliation with the companies listed. Please contact the companies directly to find out more.

  • GlucoSense – London (UK)
    GlucoSense is available Where?&what is the cost in india.
    interested to buy.

    • Please contact the companies directly, we do not have access to this information (see above comments).

  • Connie Bruckner

    I live in USA and am interested in buying the glucosense device.


    How to get this device for measuring
    Bloodless Sugar level from USA . Is the device approved by Competenr Authorities. How much is the cost in USA

    • You should try to get in touch with the company

  • Soucaille

    I am living in Taiwan. Where can I buy this device?

  • Bernice M. Lock

    I hate needles and would definitely be interested in being part of a clinical trial.

  • IanH

    It is now 9 months after this article was published. Are you aware of any further progress in bringing these devices to market?

    It all seems to have gone very quiet …

  • Astala

    What is the current status? When will it be available to order?
    GlucoWise™ is currently in development and will be available to purchase once clinical trials are completed. We expect to start taking pre-orders in late 2018.

  • rajesh soni

    i want to buy this glucowise meter please advice from where i can buy this

  • This 2017 as the year of 2016 is gone. I am tired of needles and tired of these advertisements. Where is the product?

    • Hi Sylvia, GlucoWise and GlucoSense are both expected to reach the market in 2018, while NovioSense plans for launching are set for 2019. Hope it helps!

  • wanda

    Love to try something differtent

  • Brian

    Will any of these devices ever be allowed to become available?
    After 45 years I’m fed up with promises,promises, it doesn’t seem to get much better.

  • How can I get one of these because I’m not feet the stick

  • Toni Lynn Price

    I have a 5 year old son who has Gluten disorder and type 1 Diabetes. He hates the double prick of taking the sugar before the needle. Would love more information on this please. We would love to help you test this by using it with the blood one to determine accuracy. We would love this most at night, what a great way to not have to wake a child for his testing time.

  • Jay

    I’m excited for this too! I’m sure millions of other diabetics are clamoring for a ‘needle-less’ way of testing.

  • Benjamin Adkins

    Hi! I found this product in the other site, i think their are the same: What do you think?