WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg company hopes its machine that screens for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes will soon be in pharmacies across the country.
Canadian medical device company Miraculins developed the Scout Diabetes Screen machine, which received Health Canada approval in 2012.
The Scout DS scans the underside of the forearm using a light source to look for markers present in everyone’s skin tissue.
Those markers elevate as people age, but also grow in number when prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes is present.
The machine doesn't confirm if a person has the disease or a predisposition for it.
But it does attempt to aid the process of getting Canadians to their doctors for proper bloodwork.
“By scanning your skin — which is non-invasive, no blood required and you don’t have to fast — we can tell you with an 80 per cent accuracy whether you are in a pre or Type 2 diabetic range,” said Christopher Moreau, president and CEO of Miraculins.
If the score is above 50, the patient is encouraged to see a physician for one of three tests involving bloodwork for a medical diagnosis.
“One of the problems with Type 2 diabetes is that people are asymptomatic for the first few years,” said Moreau. “So five per cent of the market is Type 2 diabetic and doesn’t even know it; 25 per cent is pre-diabetic and doesn’t know it.”
According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, 10 per cent of Manitoba’s population now lives with a form of diabetes. That number only reflects the diagnosed.
In Canada, the current key non-invasive screening method is a questionnaire based mainly on family history.
Moreau said after screening thousands of people with the Scout, and always asking about family history, many don’t know the necessary medical details of their relatives.
“We can make (the Scout) available in non-traditional settings, like a pharmacy or a food store, where you can go in, be screened, like a blood pressure cuff,” said Moreau.
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