New Tech: College Graduate Invents Glucose-Sensing Earring

Tyra K, a 22-year-old graduate from the University of Huddersfield, surpassed thousands of entries and became a finalist in the 2020 Global Grad Show. Tyra, a  product design graduate, created a discreet earring that can monitor blood glucose levels in real-time.  

I found her story to be quite fascinating along with her reason for creating this device, being that Tyra herself does not live with diabetes. I thought it would be nice to hear from Tyra on how this idea came to life.

Hi Tyra, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. I understand you do not live with diabetes. What gave you the inspiration to work on such a project?

Hi, thank you for having me! I was inspired to create a product that helped with type 1 diabetes (T1D) management after an incident that happened with a neighbor of mine. In summer 2019, my neighbor who is a male that lives independently had an unexpected hypoglycemic attack. Fortunately for him, the windows were open, which allowed me and my family members to hear a faint shout for help.

After realizing our neighbor needed assistance, we were able to gain access to his house and immediately called for the ambulance. After my neighbor had received medical assistance and the situation was resolved, it came to light that his hypoglycaemic attack developed thought-out the night, which almost triggered a diabetic coma. Due to this unfortunate circumstance, I was inspired to create a product that can prevent potentially fatal situations and support T1Ds.

What were the first steps you took once you had the idea? I know so many people have ideas but do not know how to execute them.

Once I decided to investigate diabetes management, my initial plan was to conduct and collect as much research as possible. As I am not a person with T1D, nor did I have much knowledge on the subject, [so] it was very important to me to learn as much as possible.

I set up focus groups, interviews, and questionnaires, to pinpoint the main areas of concern. Thanks to the help of the participating parents whose children have type 1 diabetes, I was able to create a focus group. This highlighted the main concerns among children/teenagers, such as the insecurities of managing diabetes in the presence of other people. I thought this was upsetting; no child should be embarrassed to monitor and control their health, especially as it is no fault of their own.

After processing all this information, I decided to create a product that would reduce the stigma of diabetes management and encourage younger type 1s to monitor their condition in a manner that caters to their needs.

I live with type 1 diabetes and wear the Dexcom G6 and find the technology to be life-saving. What makes your Sense Glucose Earring better than the big names like Dexcom and Freestyle Libre?

Products from brands such as Dexcom and Freestyle are revolutionary. The progress in diabetes management over the last 10 years is remarkable as the technology within existing products has helped many diabetics worldwide. Various CGMs seen on the market will cater to different consumer needs. Every consumer is different and will want different things from a product.

The Sense Glucose Earring is different from the leading brands as it focuses on making glucose monitoring discreet, quick and simple. It is designed to look like a piece of wearable tech, similar to wireless earphones, which aims to make monitoring in social situations more appealing and less distressing.

Sense Glucose Earring

Image credit: Tyra Kozlow

I think the earring idea is a fascinating one. How exactly does it measure your blood through your earlobe? Is insertion painful? Do you need finger prick calibrations?

Thank you! I am unable to give the full details on the technology at this stage, as the product is still being developed. However, I can tell you that inserting the device would not be painful, as it will fit into standard lobe piercing, so the only slightly painful part would be getting your ear pierced!

How often will you have to change the sensor? Or is it rechargeable?

The great thing about the Sense earring is that it is rechargeable. The device does not contain any disposable plastic components, the earring can be wiped clean and used as and when required. The life span of the product is yet to be confirmed, but the product is designed to last substantially longer than current invasive sensors.

I understand that once the Sense detects blood sugar levels, it then transmits the information to an app. What features does this app have other than displaying your blood sugar?

The app, like the earring, is still under development, but I hope that it will provide a personal experience for T1Ds, by providing the option for T1Ds share their glucose data with trusted family and friends, which creates a personal support network for the users who require it.

Since the inspiration for this device came from you chairing a focus group of parents who all had the same sentiments of their child not wanting to manage their condition in public due to the stigma, have you reconnected with these families to show them what you have created? What was their reaction? I’d imagine they were touched and humbled by your success!

Yes! I recently spoke to the chairwoman of the support group, who informed me that the group responded positively towards the Sense Glucose Earring and was excited to see how the product progresses in the Global Grad Show.

Sense Glucose Earring

Image credit: Tyra Kozlow

What are the next steps to bring this product to the public?

The next steps are to secure funding and build the right team to get the product on the market.

What enhancements can you see making to this device down the road?

At this moment in time, the focus is getting the earring onto the market, but I hope in the future we can produce variants of the product to further improve the lives of T1Ds.

Since you have already had such great success with such an important device that can help so many, what do you see yourself working on next? In ten years?

Personally, I hope to see the Sense Earring through to market implementation, and I desire to continue developing productions that have a positive impact on people’s lives.

Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us, Tyra. We look forward to following your journey and wish you continued success!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Review: Wellue 02Ring-Ring Oxygen Meter

It’s the year 2020 and unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are rethinking how to monitor and manage both their family’s and their own health. With so many doctors moving to telehealth, many are purchasing important health products so they can better assess and monitor their health conditions from their own homes.

The COVID-19 virus is leaving many patients with dangerously low levels of oxygen even when they are feeling well. An oximeter was one of the most coveted devices that people were searching for when COVID-19 began per many healthcare workers’ suggestion.  The Wellue O2Ring is a ring oxygen meter that tracks you and your loved one’s oxygen levels so that you can pick up this warning sign and get medical attention before the patient’s condition worsens.

Who Are They?

Wellue is a brand belonging to Viatom Technology that creates medical and wellness products that are consumer-friendly and help people to better detect and manage their health conditions. Wellue has many other medical devices available with medical-grade accuracy.

What Is It?

Wellue O2Ring is a patented smart device that allows the patient to monitor their oxygen levels and heart rate for long periods of time and is designed to be comfortably worn overnight. The many features allow the patient to be notified of low oxygen and heart rate levels, collect data and send reports to their healthcare team. It also comes with a companion app that shows both data analysis and trends allowing the patient to feel empowered with information about their health.

Photo credit: Wellue

Some of the key features of the O2Ring are:

  • Overnight tracking: The device continuously tracks your oxygen level and heart rate.
  • Adjustable vibration and intensity alarm alerting you of low oxygen or abnormal heart rate.
  • Free PC software and Mac app which allows you to print and share all data with your healthcare provider.
  • The O2Ring is rechargeable and lasts 12-16 hours with stand-alone memory, meaning a smartphone is not even needed.

Where Can I Purchase and How Much Does It Cost?

Wellue sells its products on its website and it is also available at Walmart and Amazon. I found the lowest price to be on their website which was $170. Wellue is currently offering Diabetes Daily readers a 10% discount. You can purchase on their site using this discount code: BLDIABETES10.

Photo credit: Wellue

My Review

At a time where many are neglecting routine visits, settling for virtual care, and wondering what the future of healthcare looks like, this is the perfect time to invest in your health. Having medical products at home can help you stay ahead of your health conditions. Wellue also makes many other medical devices such as pediatric oxygen masks, blood pressure monitors with oximeters, forehead and ear infrared thermometers, and Babytone Fetal Heart Monitors, to name a few. All these products can help give you peace of mind about you and your family’s health.

Whether you struggle with chronic obstructed pulmonary disease (COPD), sleep apnea, asthma, pneumonia, or any other health conditions affecting your oxygen levels and heart rate, I highly recommend the O2Ring oxygen meter. It is comfortable to wear and it alerts the patient without disrupting their partner’s sleep, lessening the burden on our loved ones, which many of us stress over.

Being proactive with my health makes me feel empowered to manage my type 1 diabetes and my overall wellbeing to the best of my ability. Having technology like this at your fingertips (in this case, literally) can make taking care of your health a lot easier and add years on to your life. Wellue uses the same type of technology that hospitals do, which makes me feel extra confident that their products are of the utmost quality and accuracy. In summary, I highly recommend their products.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Research Trends with Dr. Maria: Cholesterol Benefits & More

Dr. Maria Muccioli holds degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology and has over 10 years of research experience in the immunology field. She is currently a professor of biology at Stratford University and a science writer at Diabetes Daily. Dr. Maria has been living well with type 1 diabetes since 2008 and is passionate about diabetes research and outreach.

In this recurring article series, Dr. Maria will present some snapshots of recent diabetes research, and especially interesting studies than may fly under the mainstream media radar. Check out our first-ever installment of “Research Trends with Dr. Maria”!

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Allergen in Diabetes Tech Adhesives

Diabetes technologies, like insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors, are steadily gaining popularity, especially among patients with type 1 diabetes. While the technological advances have shown considerable benefit in improving patient outcomes and quality of life, one common issue is the unfavorable reactions to adhesives. A recent study published in Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics identified that a common culprit of these allergic reactions to adhesives may be a chemical called colophonium, a commonly-used adhesive, which was shown to be an allergen in over 40% of patients in the small study. Read more about the study and the use of this adhesive in medical products here.

Bariatric Surgery May Worsen Retinopathy

Retinopathy (eye disease) is a common complication of diabetes, and can be serious, leading to severe visual impairment and even blindness, especially when left untreated. A recent study published in Acta Ophthalmologica has uncovered a potential link between patients who undergo weight loss surgery and worsening retinopathy. Researchers adjusted for confounding variables, including glycemic control (A1c) and found that those who underwent bariatric surgery experienced worse retinopathy outcomes. Although the sample size was small, the data showed a significant worsening of eye disease in those who underwent surgery as compared to controls. Learn more about the study and outcomes here.

Super Healthy Probiotic Fermented Food Sources

Photo credit: Adobe Stock

Benefits of Probiotics for Type 2 Diabetes

The relevance of the gut microbiome in various health conditions, including diabetes, is gaining more and more attention. A recently published meta-analysis in The Journal of Translational Medicine discusses what we currently know about the effects of probiotic supplementation in patients with type 2 diabetes. Excitingly, probiotics can improve insulin resistance and even lower A1c! Learn more about exactly what the clinical trials have shown here.

Herbal Therapies Gaining Attention

With most modern medicines derived from plant compounds, it is not surprising that more research is being geared toward examining the effects of various herbal remedies on blood glucose levels and insulin sensitivity. A recent review published in The World Journal of Current Medical and Pharmaceutical Research summarizes the effects of some medicinal plants with potential anti-diabetic properties. Learn more about what is known about commons herbs and how they may be beneficial for glycemic control here.

Low HDL Cholesterol Linked to Beta Cell Decline

Research has previously suggested that higher HDL cholesterol levels may be protective of beta-cell function. A longitudinal study recently published in Diabetes Metabolism Research and Reviews indicated that patients with lower levels of HDL cholesterol were more likely to experience beta cell deterioration and develop type 2 diabetes than those with higher HDL cholesterol levels. Learn more about this study here.

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Please share your thoughts with us and stay tuned for more recent research updates!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Can Continuous Glucose Monitors Help Change How We All Eat?

If you share with someone results from a study indicating that even “healthy” people often eat foods that cause harmful blood sugar spikes, they may believe you and understand the underlying reasons. However, they may be much more likely to act on this knowledge if they wear a device that shows them in real time […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

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