A COMPANY in Chepstow has announced its plans to “take on the big boys” by releasing what is thought to be the world’s first totally non-invasive blood glucose monitor.

Afon Technology, based in Thornwell, is a team of 10 employees that have been working over the last year to create a glucose reading wristwatch.

The watch will use sensors to instantly detect glucose levels in the blood and will alert users when their levels become abnormal.

Diabetics need to know the glucose levels in their blood regularly so they can monitor the effect of their diabetes on their blood sugar levels.

The device, which will also be able to connect to other devices like smart phones, is expected to be available over the counter and on the NHS in around two years’ time.

South Wales Argus:

Currently all available monitors, such as finger prick tests and lancets, must enter the skin to gain an accurate glucose reading.

Sabih Chaudry, 54, who heads the team at Afon, decided he wanted to create a non-invasive monitor in 2005, but it was not until 2015 that his dream started to become reality.


“Everything started to come together when I presented the idea to some top investors,” he said. “They decided to have a punt and we got around £4.5 million. From there I was able to build a team of people to run with the idea.

“Our idea back then was to make a hand-held device which is attached to the ear, but then in July last year we came up with the idea of the watch.”

Afon also gained a £200,000 grant from the Welsh Government to make the watch, and received the go-ahead to enter a product development phase following clinical trials in Germany in October.

Mr Chaudry said: “We are now very excited because we are heading into the development stage, which means we have something concrete to move forward with.

“Having diabetics involved in our team means we can understand even more about how this device is going to help with their quality of life, without the constraints of invasive devices.”

South Wales Argus:

According to the American Diabetes Association, £5.5 billion was spent on healthcare for diabetes in 2017, with around £3 billion spent on avoidable treatment as a result of poor diabetes control.

Team member Sarah Bell, 42, said she believes the device has the potential to save the NHS thousands.

“So much is spent on treating diabetes and the complications it causes, I think the device will save thousands for the NHS and save them a lot of time too," Ms Bell said.

Mr Chaudry pointed out that he wasn’t concerning himself too much with being the first to create a non-invasive monitor, saying: “I’m proud that such a small team has managed to get this far down the line with it. I’m not obsessed with being first to make a non-invasive product, but it would be a real pinch me moment. Nothing will beat seeing people walking down the street wearing this on their wrist.”