Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business

DEFAULT GROUP

How Continuous Glucose Monitors are Changing the Lives of Those with Diabetes

SHARE
,

In the past decade, we've witnessed remarkable advancements that have transformed diabetes from a potentially fatal condition into a manageable one, enabling individuals to lead normal, active, and healthy lives.

The world of diabetes technology has played a pivotal role in extending lives across the globe, and the future of diabetes technologies continues to shine brightly with optimism (1).

Afon Technology, a Welsh-based pioneer in diabetes technology, stands at the forefront of innovation, poised to revolutionise the lives of those living with diabetes. At this very moment, they are developing Glucowear™ – a groundbreaking leap in continuous glucose monitoring (CGM).

Glucowear™ is set to redefine CGMs as we know them. It's a non-invasive CGM, liberating people with diabetes from the constraints of traditional finger pricking and subcutaneous sensor needles (2). Designed to be comfortably worn as a watchstrap, it connects seamlessly via Bluetooth to the user's smartwatch or device, granting patients instant access to real-time data, simplifying diabetes management like never before (3).

Dr. Sabih Chaudhry, BSc (Hons), PhD, and CEO of Afon Technology, emphasises,

“This technology is poised to transform countless lives and significantly enhance their quality of life.”

Research published in the Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics journal affirms that CGMs have proven “clinically valuable” by reducing the risks of hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia, minimizing glycaemic variability (GV), and enhancing the quality of life for a diverse range of patient groups and clinical applications (4).

Afon Technology recognises that the key to effective diabetes management lies in knowing one's blood sugar levels and when to take action to maintain a healthy range (5). Traditionally, people would rely on painful finger prick tests at least four times a day (6). Glucowear™ eliminates this inconvenience by enabling continuous, non-invasive blood sugar monitoring, day and night, without the risk of detachment or replacement.

The device substantially reduces the risk of long-term complications, hypoglycaemia, and hyperglycaemia by delivering real-time results and a comprehensive history of blood sugar levels. It comes equipped with features like alarm alerts, trend profiles, and time-in-range data, empowering individuals with diabetes to take charge of their health5. It also benefits healthcare professionals by providing a detailed record of blood glucose levels (3).

Glucowear™ is designed to cater to anyone who requires regular blood glucose monitoring, including those with Type 1, Type 2, and less common forms of diabetes like Type 3c and Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA).

Dr. Chaudhry added:

“I could have only dreamed of being in this position. We've developed a wearable device that enables people to effortlessly monitor blood glucose levels. When I began this journey years ago, it seemed like a wild idea.”

Diabetes remains a complex illness, and while the technology available helps manage the condition, a cure remains elusive. Nonetheless, Afon Technology is committed to providing a convenient, affordable, and non-invasive device to support those living with diabetes.

Thanks to Afon Technology, the future for people with diabetes will involve fewer finger-prick tests, deeper insights, and greater peace of mind.

SHARE

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.

 

Related Articles

Business News Wales