Light device more accurate in diabetes diagnosis

A new device called the Scout is being used by doctors to more accurately detect early signs of diabetes. It uses light to detect the early signs of diabetes in 60 seconds by spotting chemical markers in the skin.

It has been shown to be more accurate than the existing technique, which involves the patient fasting for 12 hours and having blood taken to test glucose levels. The samples are sent to a lab and results can take several days.

The new test is able to detect 20 per cent more patients with type two diabetes — the kind mostly linked with obesity — than the fasting test, which often has to be repeated. Diabetes is a condition where the pancreas has stopped producing the hormone insulin or its output has dropped sharply. Unless it is diagnosed early, it can cause irreversible damage to the kidneys, eyes, nerves, heart and arteries.