Call to fund smartphone app that reads diabetics blood-glucose levels

Diabetes New Zealand says a new smartphone app that monitors blood-glucose levels offers huge benefits and they're calling for it to be funded.

More than 25,000 New Zealanders have type 1 diabetes and face serious complications if the condition is not carefully managed.

The system does away with the uncomfortable, routine finger-prick tests and opts for a digital sensor which sticks to a person's arm.

With one quick scan, White Fern Sophie Devine has all the information she needs at her fingertips.

"[It's a] little bit like Paywave, that's probably the best way to describe it so I've gotta make sure peoples' credit cards don't get tracked on it," she says.

The international cricketer has been a type 1 diabetic since she was 15. Now keeping on top of her health - especially when on tour - is critical.

"Whether I'm in the gym, out on the cricket field - to be able to see what's going on, how my blood sugar levels are reacting to it has been really interesting for me," she says.

Type 1 diabetes requires the frequent monitoring and management of blood glucose levels, usually through a finger prick test.

If not, you risk serious long term complications like blindness or kidney and heart disease.

It's not just adults like Devine who can benefit from this new technology.

Diabetes NZ CEO, Heather Verry, says current glucose monitoring techniques can be especially hard with children.

"Imagine having to wake your child in the middle of the night all the time having to prick their fingers and make sure their actually okay," she says.

The arm sensors are about $100 every fortnight while existing methods like the skin prick test are fully subsidised.

Devine says she'd love to see it funded by the Government.