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Approximately 1.6 billion people in the world have diabetes or prediabetes, according to World Health Organization figures. Of that immense number, only 1 in 20 of those have Type 1, the autoimmune form of the disease. The remainder of diabetics and virtually all prediabetics have or are headed toward Type 2 diabetes, the form that can often prevented or partially alleviated by lifestyle, primarily through nutrition. Managing diabetes in either form is time-consuming, including checking blood glucose levels and administering the necessary amounts of insulin. Entities around the world are working on technologies to simplify and improve the accuracy of diabetes monitoring and maintenance tasks.

Nemaura Medical, a  U.K.-based health and research firm, focuses on developing technology for monitoring medical conditions via the skin. Nemaura’s first product, sugarBEAT, is a pain-free, non-invasive continuous glucose monitoring patch. SugarBEAT consists of a reusable sensor held in place by a disposable 24-hour adhesive skin patch. There is no needle involved. The sensor, which is calibrated once a day with a finger prick blood sample, runs an imperceptible electric current across the skin to draw and measure blood glucose from the interstitial fluid just below the skin. Every five minutes the sensor sends the data via Bluetooth to an associated iOS or Android device where the sugarBEAT app displays sugar levels and Ambulatory Glucose Profile (AGP).

Nemaura has obtained CE approval in Europe for sugarBEAT and has clinical studies in progress to receive approval in other areas of the world. SugarBEAT is scheduled to launch in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East in 2017 at a lower price point than other continuous glucose monitoring solutions.