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[IP] wall street journal article on new lasette

     i hope i am posting correctly...  new type of laser lancet looks 
     promising and could be great...  is it a good stock bet as well? 
     skip lightner
     FDA Approves Laser Device That Allows Diabetics to Draw Blood 
     With Less Pain
     Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
     WASHINGTON -- The Food and Drug Administration approved the first 
     medical laser for home use, a device that allows diabetics to 
     draw blood for glucose tests more conveniently and often with 
     less pain.
     The Lasette, a small battery-powered machine manufactured by Cell 
     Robotics International Inc., Albuquerque, N.M., lets patients 
     make a small puncture in their finger with a laser. The majority 
     of patients in clinical trials said they had no pain or less pain 
     drawing blood with the device than with the needle they normally 
     use, said Travis Lee, the company's vice president of sales and 
     Some diabetics draw blood five to 10 times a day to closely 
     monitor their glucose levels, the FDA said. Patients must watch 
     their levels, which can vary throughout the day according to diet 
     and exercise, to make sure they are taking the right amount of 
     insulin to control their disease. Improper glucose levels can 
     lead to kidney, eye and nerve damage. More than 10 million 
     Americans suffer from diabetes.
     The Lasette, which has been approved for use in doctors' offices 
     and hospitals for about a year, costs $2,000. Despite the 
     expense, Mr. Lee predicted that patients would eagerly purchase 
     the machines for use at home.
     As patients have heard about the device during the past year, Mr. 
     Lee said, "We've had people saying, 'I'll write you a check 
     today.'"  Parents with diabetic children are the most eager, he 
     said, followed by patients recently diagnosed with diabetes. 
     Patients will need a prescription from their doctor to get the 
     device, and will have to get brief lessons on how to use the 
     "This is not a toy," said Dr. Susan Alpert, director of the FDA's 
     Office of Device Evaluation.
     Patients stick their finger inside the device, which looks like a 
     small box, and activate the laser, making a small puncture wound. 
     The finger wound typically is shallower than one produced by a 
     needle, Dr. Alpert said.
     Patients then smear the blood from their finger onto a small test 
     strip and place that strip in another device, which reads their 
     glucose level.
     Cell Robotics said it had no projections of Lasette sales. 
     Although the company has had FDA approval to sell the device to 
     doctors and hospitals, since October 1997, Mr. Lee said the 
     company has only begun selling them in the past month, and so far 
     has sold "hundreds" of machines.
     Chronimed Inc., a Minneapolis company, is distributing the device 
     and is alsoworking with Cell Robotics to make a smaller machine 
     for home use that would be less costly, Mr. Lee said.
     URL for this Article:
     Copyright c 1998 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 
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Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/