OMG! Now you can measure Blood Glucose using a Smartphone

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, a government agency in the United States, said on Tuesday that its scientists had created a method for accurately measuring blood glucose levels using a magnetometer found in a typical cellphone.

The magnetometer found in almost all contemporary cell phones senses the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field, much like a compass. This is particularly helpful for other uses, like navigation. But the researchers were able to use it for something entirely different. The smartphone, according to the researchers, can be used to measure a wide range of chemicals and biomarkers in blood.

In the proof-of-concept study, a hydrogel strip and a small well with a solution—which is used in place of blood for testing—were fastened to a cellphone by the researchers. A porous substance that swells in the presence of water is hydrogel. After creating a hydrogel that would expand and contract in response to glucose or pH levels (a measure of acidity), they additionally inserted small magnetic particles into the material. pH level variations can occasionally be a sign of certain illnesses.

The magnetic particles are moved closer to or further away from the magnetometer in the phone by the expansion and contraction of the hydrogel particles. Additionally, the magnetometer was able to measure the associated variations in the magnetic field’s strength. They assert that they have measured even minuscule glucose amounts using this method. While at-home glucose monitoring does not require such great sensitivity, this technology may eventually make it possible to test for glucose in saliva, which has a much lower sugar content.

The NIST team reported that the smart hydrogels they employed are rather simple to make and reasonably priced. Theoretically, these might be offered as inexpensive test kits that you could connect to your phone in order to measure your blood sugar using a specific app. Comparing this procedure to other existing test methods, it may prove to be less expensive because it makes no use of electronics or technology beyond what is contained in a smartphone.

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