Hand-held potassium monitor for home use in Gitelman Syndrome
Gitelman Syndrome (GS) is a rare kidney disorder where magnesium, potassium and salt are wasted into the urine instead of being re-absorbed into the blood stream. Patients take high doses of multiple supplements every day to compensate for the lost electrolytes, but this causes unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects and presents a high medication burden.
Patient members of Gitelman Syndrome UK proposed the idea of a hand-held, finger-prick device that could be used to monitor their blood potassium levels. The device would be similar to glucometers with disposable chips used regularly by diabetics. An immediate reading of blood potassium would enable patients to dose accordingly, ideally reducing the number of tablets and subsequent side effects.
In collaboration with the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge and funded by Kidney Research UK and Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust, the device and sensors have been developed. The team are now consulting widely with GS patients on the desired interface and predicted use, to better design the device. If you’d like to be involve with this study, please contact the My Potassium Sensor team; if monitoring your blood potassium at home is relevant to you, please complete this short, anonymous survey.