Tanita Corp announced a portable digital urine glucose meter that indirectly checks blood glucose level, which is a diagnostic criterion for metabolic syndrome, by measuring urine glucose level.
The meter "UG-201" will go on sale in Japan June 20, 2008.
Tanita has sold a stationary digital urine sugar meter since 2004. This time, Tanita commercialized the portable model because the company received many requests from customers who want to use the product when eating out and on other occasions.
When measuring the blood glucose level, skin puncture blood collection is usually required. This places a burden on the person measuring their blood glucose level. Especially, in order to determine postprandial hyperglycemia, which is an early symptom of diabetes, blood should be collected several times after meal, thus imposing a great burden.
Although the latest product is unable to measure the blood sugar level itself, it contributes to the prevention of metabolic syndrome and diabetes by measuring the urine sugar level, which is closely correlated with the blood sugar level. The product allows easy measurement simply by urinating on the sensor. In addition, the latest portable version allows users to check their urine glucose level when eating out.
The UG-201 employs a biosensor based on the enzyme electrode method. It can be carried around with the sensor unit immersed in the preservation solution contained in a cap. The cap is removed before use, and urine is directly poured on the sensor unit. The cap is placed in the hole formed in the main unit cover so that the solution will not spill out of the cap. The measurement completes in about six seconds.
After use, the sensor unit is washed with water, and then the cap is attached to put the sensor unit in the solution. The sensor unit can be folded away. The measurement range of urine sugar level is 0-2000mg per deciliter. The urine sugar level is indicated in increments of 10mg/dL at minimum (100mg/dL in high concentration range).
After the measurement, an interval of about three minutes is required before the next use. The sensor must be calibrated with the use of reference solution about once a week.
The main unit measures 68 x 118 x 22mm and weighs about 80g without the battery. The total weight including the cover, the sensor cartridge and the preservation solution bottle is about 150g.
The main unit is powered by one CR2032 lithium watch battery and can be operated for about 180 days when the measurement is conducted three times a day.
The censor cartridge can be used for up to 200 times within 60 days. Although there is no manufacturer's suggested retail price, the expected market price for the starter set including the main unit, sensor cartridge, etc is about ¥16,000 (US$154, price may vary depending on country), and the sensor cartridge is about ¥6,000, according to Tanita.
The cost per measurement is about ¥30 because one sensor cartridge can be used 200 times. The company is aiming at initial annual sales of 3,000 sets and cumulative sales of 30,000 sets by fiscal 2010.