First the headline (Herald, reprinting Daily Telegraph)
Finger-prick test that can show risk of diabetes
then it’s “on the horizon”
The finger-prick test, which could be available at GP surgeries or even chemists, looks for molecules in the blood that indicate diabetes is developing.
but in the present tense. Then
The specific biomarkers involved are being kept a closely guarded secret for now, but once a prototype test has been developed, trials will take place.
This ‘test’ not only hasn’t been evaluated in real patients; it doesn’t even exist yet.
Currently, doctors can test for diabetes only by taking blood glucose readings that show whether the disease is already present.
That’s only true if you squint from exactly the right angle. Since 2012, testing for HbA1c, a byproduct of elevated glucose, has been a general screening recommendation in NZ and one of the public health performance indicators. One of the reasons given for screening is
effective screening aims to reduce the incidence of diabetes through detection of people with pre-diabetes
You could argue ‘the disease is already present’ in people with pre-diabetes, but not in the sense that’s relevant to screening.
The current test isn’t all that good, and perhaps when they finish inventing it the new one will be better. But it’s not a test yet; it’s not a ‘health’ story yet; and with so little disclosed information it’s not clear that it’s even a science story yet.