If the tips of your fingers are tired of being pricked and stabbed for the sake of your diabetes management, believe me, you’re not alone! Fortunately, Dr. Ron Clark, co-founder of the iQuickIt Saliva Analyzer, has been working hard on the development of a device that measures our blood glucose levels with our saliva! While this product isn’t available to the public quite yet, it will be, and it will be tremendous freedom from the daily pricks and pokes we all face in life with diabetes.

To learn more about iQuickIt Saliva Analyzer, I spoke with Dr. Ron Clark in this interview:

Ginger: Today, for decades we’ve been testing our blood glucose levels by pricking our fingers and bleeding…what sparked the idea in your mind to turn to saliva as an option for assessing glucose levels? 

Dr. Clark: In the ER, we are trained to look for practical solutions to common problems, and the difficulty associated with frequent finger stick blood tests is a significant barrier to proper diabetes care.  Saliva is an abundant resource and offers tremendous opportunity for simple, non-invasive testing.  My father is a Type I diabetic, and our vision at Quick is to develop technology that makes life easier and more comfortable for those who have diabetes.  Having a choice between giving saliva or blood, we believe most would choose our saliva-based glucose option for daily diabetes testing.

Ginger: Is there a particular aspect to developing this technology that is more difficult than using blood? What do you think has prevented this technology from having been created years ago?

Dr. Clark: We’ve seen extensive published research proving the strong correlation between saliva glucose and blood glucose, but the ability to accurately calibrate and measure saliva glucose has been a barrier in the past.

Technologies have been developed that utilize highly complex and expensive test methods to detect glucose levels in saliva.  Our technology utilizes more practical approaches, connecting the dots on proven technologies with some modifications to use saliva for glucose readings.

Ginger: In a nutshell, could you explain how the device works?

Dr. Clark:  It’s very simple for users.  You place the one-time-use Draw Wick in your mouth briefly to obtain a small saliva sample.  Then place the Draw Wick into the iQuickIt Saliva Analyzer for immediate glucose reading.  The test results will appear on the Analyzer and can automatically be sent wirelessly to smart devices so parents, caregivers or healthcare professionals can monitor and save results.

Ginger: How will the accuracy of using saliva compare to the accuracy in today’s test-strips (where there is a known 15% range of inaccuracy)?

Dr. Clark: Although we still have extensive clinical trials to run, our initial lab testing shows the iQuickIt Saliva Analyzer provides a comparable level of accuracy.  We’re hoping through the trials and as we further refine our Analyzer we will be able to provide a higher level of accuracy than is currently available on the market.

Ginger: Okay, so we want this. I know I’d certainly love to go 24 hours without stabbing my fingers 6-7 times. How soon will iQuickIt Saliva Analyzer be available to the public?

Dr. Clark: We are currently in a crowdfunding campaign through www.iQuickIt.com to help support the next phase of product refinements and clinical trials.  The process to achieve FDA approval is a lengthy one, but we have very strong, positive proof of effectiveness of our technology at this stage.  We’re hoping to have a consumer-ready product within 24 months.  We’re passionate about this and excited to get the iQuickIt Saliva Analyzer into the hands of people with diabetes to provide a better solution!

Ginger: Well, in the meantime, thank you for your contributions to this immense development in diabetes technology! I, for one, can’t wait for the day when I can give my fingertips a break!

Story copyright © 2013, Diabetes Daily. Diabetes Daily filed this story in December, 2013: http://www.diabetesdaily.com/voices/2013/12/testing-your-blood-sugar-with-your-saliva/