Diabetes is a major health problem that results in significant mortality, debilitating complications, substantial economic impact on society, and untold waste of human resources. However, complications of diabetes can be significantly reduced by improved blood glucose control. Continuous monitoring of blood glucose makes possible analysis and identification of glycemic patterns, creating the opportunity to prevent extreme excursions (hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia) in blood glucose of diabetic patients. Finger-sticking, which is currently the most common method of blood glucose measurements, is rarely frequent enough to make glycemic pattern analysis possible. In addition, finger-sticking is not automated and hence not possible during sleep hours.
An implantable sensor capable of long-term monitoring of tissue glucose concentrations by wireless telemetry has been developed, and is currently being tested on people with diabetes. This sensor sends out a signal every 2 minutes, reporting the glucose level of the subject. Through a collaboration with Professor Gough, Professor Abbasi is currently in the process of discovering glycemic patterns and developing algorithms to predict blood glucose excursions.