The GlucoWatch Biographer is a bloodless blood sugar meter that patients use like a watch, explains WebMD. Patients wear the watch while a membrane on its underside sucks interstitial fluid through the skin to monitor glucose. As of 2015, bloodless glucose meters undergoing research include special contact lenses, a tattoo and a device that shines near-infrared light onto the skin.
Patients report the GlucoWatch Biographer sometimes causes problems with skin irritation, according to WebMD. The Biographer III is an alternative to the GlucoWatch Biographer that patients wear like a watch while tiny microneedles extract fluid from the skin. It results in less skin irritation than the GlucoWatch Biographer.
The contact lenses under development include small sensors embedded in them that detect glucose levels, reports WebMD. Patients wear these lenses and replace them weekly. Patients look in the mirror to see the color of the sensor, which changes with different levels of glucose. The tattoo consists of fluorescent beads placed under the skin. Patients wear a watch with a light that makes the beads glow different colors when it shines on them.
Near-infrared light shined onto the skin by a device indicates glucose level by reflecting the light back to a receiver, which reports the level. The light that indicates glucose reflects, while fat and protein absorb the other light, explains WebMD.