The all-in-one device is now available in the UK.
A new device is available now that could change the way people with diabetes monitor their blood sugar levels – while reducing the amount of equipment they need to carry at all times.
The Betachek C50 can track blood glucose levels without the need for a test strip and was recently approved for use in the UK.
The pocket-sized monitor allows users to look at their blood glucose levels without test strip handling or disposal and without having to carry a separate finger pricker.
The ease of use of the device could encourage more people with diabetes to test more frequently and in turn, improve their glucose control and long-term health.
Routine blood sugar level checks can help warn people with diabetes if they are becoming too high or low.
The Betachek C50 is designed to fit into the palm of a hand and features a spool of 50 tests in a cassette and a built-in finger pricker with 10 penetration depths.
Brandon Bransgrove, research director at National Diagnostic Products, who developed the Betachek C50, said: “This is the only all-in-one device with a fully integrated finger pricker and 50 test cassette. It makes glucose testing simple and easy.
“It can reduce the risk of serious health complications and help people improve their lives.
“Self-testing helps you understand your diabetes, but current blood glucose monitors involve a zip-up bag with lots of components that have to be removed one by one to do the test. It is stressful and embarrassing, and then you have to replace everything and dispose of the used test strip. It puts many people off doing something that could really help their health.
“Our device has everything self-contained and is smaller than a mobile phone so it can be carried in a pocket. Testing regularly is a key to managing your health so we need to make it as quick and easy as possible.”
The device, which took six years to develop, won a major Australian design award.
Diabetes levels are soaring in the UK with 13.6 million considered at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Based on latest figures it is estimated that 5.5 million people in the UK will have diabetes by 2030.
Mr Bransgrove said: “Having uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a range of serious illnesses such as heart disease, blindness and limb amputation. By controlling blood glucose levels through diet and exercise the progress of the disease can be halted.
“If you're going to be testing frequently, and publicly, it's nice to have a very discreet way to do it. The Betachek C50 gives you the ability to test without fuss and get control of your diabetes.
“The good news is that, by monitoring type 2 diabetes, you can control it and, in some cases, even reverse it.
“The device will also lead to savings for the NHS, as it will help people avoid developing serious complications, that are extremely costly to treat.”
Test cassettes for the Betachek C50, retail for £12.50 and are also available on prescription. The device, which costs £25, has to be bought separately in line with NHS policy on all blood glucose testing devices.
Mr Bransgrove said: “Having knowledge about blood glucose levels and what foods cause spikes and at what times of day is vital to taking back control and having a better quality of life.
“I’ve spoken to so many people who have issues with testing in public because it is such a hassle and many feel it draws attention to their condition. This creates resistance and means they might not test as often as necessary.
“Our device does it all-in-one, is discreet and just doesn’t look like anything medical. It will look more like you are getting out a small mobile or MP3 player.
“You simply wind out a test, prick your finger, apply the drop of blood. The used test is then wound away into a waste chamber in the cassette. The results are automatically uploaded to your phone wirelessly.
“No need to put everything back into a bag and look for a bin for the used test strip. Ten seconds and you’re done.
“The feedback has been incredible. People feel liberated and better able to control their diabetes.”