A group of researchers at the University of Illinois have discovered a new way to deliver clinical information to people in the hospital and it may soon help patients with diabetes, asthma and heart failure.
They hope the technique could eventually be used to help people with the rare metabolic disorder known as type 2 diabetes, which is caused by an imbalance of hormones in the body.
University of Illinois researcher and lead author of the study Dr. John L. Hahn told Fox News the study was a response to the growing need for improved diabetes care.
“It’s a problem that’s going to grow with every generation, but with the aging population and the increasing number of patients needing insulin, the need to help them is going to increase,” he said.
Hahn and his colleagues at the medical school at the university have found a way to make blood tests more accurate.
The technology they’ve developed, called a bioelectrical impedance (BEE), is based on a technique that uses an electrical current to change the electrical impedance of the blood vessels.
By using a small device that connects to a patient’s vein and sending a signal to a machine that uses the same signal to convert it into electrical current, the BEE can make blood samples more accurate, according to the University News Service.
“With BEE, you can make a single blood sample, you’re not limited by the size of the sample,” Hahn said.
“And it’s very cheap.”
Hahn said the technology could eventually help treat people with type 2, which affects about 5 percent of Americans.
In the study, which was published online April 10 in the journal Diabetes Care, the researchers measured blood samples of patients with type 1 diabetes and type 2.
The researchers found that the patients with the most glucose in their blood had the most accuracy in detecting the presence of insulin.
If the technology is applied to the diabetes community, the scientists said it could eventually allow doctors to prescribe insulin for the treatment of people with diabetes.
Although the study is still in its early stages, Hahn hopes the research will eventually lead to new treatment options for people with metabolic disorders, which are associated with increased risks for cardiovascular disease and type 1, or non-insulin dependent diabetes.
“I think it will lead to a whole new range of medications and treatments, but I also hope it will make diabetes care better,” he told FoxNews.com.
The team is currently looking at other research and testing options, such as using the device in conjunction with a wearable medical device, such a heart monitor or blood pressure cuff.
To learn more about the study and how it could help patients, visit: http://www.diabetes.illinois.edu/diabetes/medical/research/diabetic/new-measurement-for-insulins-and-blood-pressure/ Follow Kelly on Twitter at: http.twitter.com/KellyKHahn