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‘Alarming’ Frequency of Hypos in Type 1 Diabetes Revealed in New Poll


More than one in four people with type 1 diabetes experience dangerously low blood sugar levels at least once every three days, a survey published to mark World Diabetes Day has found.

According to the ‘Living with Diabetes Survey 2023’ report compiled by Afon Technology, 28% of the 305 people with type 1 diabetes surveyed had 10 or more episodes of hypoglycaemia every month.

A total of 599 people with both type 1 and 2 diabetes took part in the questionnaire, which highlighted that 61.5% of the participants use a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) or flash technology to monitor their blood glucose levels.

Sabih Chaudhry (fourth from left) with the Afon Technology team

The findings have identified that some people do not use a CGM because they are too expensive, painful, not available in their country and can be inaccurate. In addition, some individuals are not using a CGM because they are waiting to access a non-invasive device.

Sabih Chaudhry, CEO for Afon Technology, said:

“Today we unveil a critical insight from our recent survey, revealing 27.9% of people with type 1 diabetes experience at least one hypoglycaemic episode every week at least once every three days. This is alarming and a clear signal that we need to revolutionise diabetes management.”

If left untreated, severe cases of hypoglycaemia – when blood sugar levels fall below 4mmol/L – can be dangerous. Symptoms of a hypo include feeling hungry, dizzy, weak and confused, as well as shaking, sweating, tingling lips and blurred vision.

According to Diabetes UK, a mild hypo can be treated through eating or drinking 15 to 20 grams of fast acting carbohydrates such as glucose tablets, sweets, sugary fizzy drinks or fruit juice.

How many hypos do you have in the average month – Type 1

Some people with diabetes may also need to take 15 to 20 grams of slower acting carbohydrates if the next meal is not due, the charity has reported.

Scientists at the Monmouthshire-based tech firm are creating the world's first non-invasive wearable blood glucose sensor, which is tipped to completely transform the lives of those with diabetes by completely removing needles from the process of monitoring blood sugar levels.

The sensor sits on the inside of your wrist and uses Bluetooth technology to send real-time information to a companion app which will display your blood glucose trends and alert you to high/low glucose levels as well as personal health trends.

Sabih added:

“At Afon Technology, we believe in the transformative power of continuous glucose monitoring. Our mission is to change the lives of those with diabetes, and we are on the cusp of making needles a relic of the past in blood sugar monitoring. By detecting low sugar levels swiftly and accurately, we hope to turn the tide against hypos and offer a brighter, needle-free future for people managing diabetes.”

Non-invasive blood glucose monitoring is the ‘holy grail’ in the world of diabetes and as of yet no one has been able to crack it.

Currently, there are 537 million adults globally living with diabetes. Evidence has shown that the NHS spends £10 billion per year on diabetes, with NHS Wales spending £500 million each year on the condition.

Unlike the current continuous glucose monitoring devices, Afon Technology’s sensor will measure blood glucose levels in real-time without the need to penetrate the skin at all, making it easier to manage the condition, reducing the risk of diabetes-related complications such as heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and limb amputations.

Companies such as Apple, Samsung and Google are rumoured to have been trying to develop non-invasive blood glucose monitoring, but so far none have been successful. Afon Technology hopes to win the race to this important milestone.

Preliminary clinical research gives people with diabetes hope that such a device could become a reality in the near future.
World Diabetes Day is the primary global awareness campaign focusing on diabetes mellitus and is held on 14 November each year.


Afon Technology, is a small team based in South Wales tackling one of the biggest technology challenges in the world of diabetes: non-invasive, continuous, blood glucose monitoring.

The team headed up by founder and microwave engineer, Dr Sabih Chaudhry is on a mission to develop the world’s first truly non-invasive continuous glucose monitor (CGM), Glucowear®. The wearable device will sit on the underside of the user’s wrist and using very low-powered frequency waves will measure blood glucose levels which will then be communicated back to a companion app on the user’s smartphone.

Game-changing technology
Dr Chaudhry has been dedicated to bringing this much-needed technology to life for many years but it was only in 2015 that he was able to secure substantial investment to allow him to build up a team to help with this hugely challenging feat. It was whilst working on a cancer treatment technology also using low-powered RF/microwaves that Dr Chaudhry had what he calls his ‘Heath Robinson’ moment with a friend when they realised that microwaves could be used to detect changes in biological constituents.

Afon Technology now employees a number of highly skilled and experienced engineers and regulatory experts who are working together to bring this device to market. The company has been recognised on a number of occasions for its innovative and ground-breaking work, most recently by being awarded a European Innovation Council Accelerator Grant of €2.4million. The company is currently preparing the device for further clinical trials in order to secure CE marking.

Meeting the challenge
Diabetes is a global pandemic with 537 million adults living with the condition, a number predicted to rise to 643 million by 2030. In Wales alone, caring for people with diabetes costs NHS Wales £500 million per year.

Diabetes technology and treatment has come a long way in the last 100 years with current CGMs enabling people with diabetes the ability to self-manage their condition with much more control and information. However, at best they are minimally invasive and not accessible to all living with diabetes. Health complications due to poorly managed diabetes are serious and can be life threatening. A truly non-invasive glucose monitoring device is what so many of the diabetes community and healthcare professionals have been waiting for.

The scale of this challenge is obvious and a number of the ‘big’ tech giants haven’t even been able to come up with a solution yet. The team at Afon is excited and hopeful that they will be able to say the very first ‘non-invasive CGM’ was developed in Wales.


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