GlucoSet’s new way to measure blood sugar

The Norwegian company’s intravenous measuring could significantly improve hospital outcomes

Photo: Public Domain Images Current blood glucose testing is not only inconvenient, it also suffers from significant time lag.

Photo: Public Domain Images
Current blood glucose testing is not only inconvenient, it also suffers from significant time lag.

Rasmus Falck
Oslo, Norway

Regulating blood glucose level accurately is of critical importance for many hospital patient groups. Today, blood glucose is usually measured using blood samples, which are analyzed by either small hand-held analyzers or larger blood gas analyzers, using different electro-chemical processes to quantify the glucose content of the sample. However, the medical device industry has been trying to develop reliable devices for continuous glucose monitoring, allowing for real-time monitoring.

Subdermal continuous glucose monitoring would be a significant breakthrough, due to current substantial time-lag problems. Presently, there are no available methods for glucose measurement that provide the accuracy, frequency, accessibility, and cost effectiveness desired. Clinical specialists want sensors that can measure glucose continuously over several days.

NTNU researchers have developed a new promising sensor with improved performance compared to existing technology. Measurements will be carried out directly in the patient’s bloodstream, providing more accurate and real-time measurements. The company GlucoSet has been set up to commercialize this patented technology. The largest stock owners are NTNU Technology Transfer with 45 percent and Invivosense Ltd with 35 percent. Employees and board members own the rest of the shares.

The company was established in 2011. Today they have seven employees and are burning money. They have participated in the four-week-long incubator program in Silicon Valley organized by Innovation Norway. GlucoSet won the Venture Cup in 2014, and the prize money came in quite handy. Venture Cup originated at MIT in Boston and was brought to Norway by McKinsey. Today it is a non-profit organization. The cup is the largest business plan competition in the world.

GlucoSet is looking for investors and commercial partners who know the industry. The startup aims to make glucose control possible, which will reduce mortality, complications, and costs. Today blood glucose levels are often elevated and unstable in hospital intensive care unit patients. This leads to costly infections, increased length of stay, and sometimes death. The company’s intravascular sensor delivers continuous and accurate information on a patient’s blood glucose level, enabling normalization of glucose levels without the risk of sudden and dangerously low glucose levels.

The startup has an advisory board with international experience. One is a former VP from business development of a big player in the diabetes market. Another is a professor in experimental intensive care at the University of Amsterdam. The third one is working within critical care and pain medicine at the Sapienza University of Rome. The future looks promising!

This article originally appeared in the July 10, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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Rasmus Falck

Rasmus Falck is a strong innovation and entrepreneurship advocate. The author of “What do the best do better” and “The board of directors as a resource in SME,” he received his masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives in Oslo.