Scientists at Oxford Medical Diagnostics are developing a device which allows patients to monitor diabetes, without the need for painful finger pricks required in traditional testing methods.

The new device works by measuring the levels of acetone in breath up to one part per million, to indicate if the individual has high blood glucose levels.

As diabetics cannot regulate blood glucose levels, the body burns fat instead of glucose, and this releases acetone, and measuring acetone from patient’s breath can help identify high glucose levels.

Researchers are planning to conduct clinical trials of the device and release it commercially within the six to eight months.

In addition, scientists from University of Newcastle are collaborating with Oxford Medical scientists to develop a more affordable handheld device based on the same principle for home monitoring of diabetes.