Continuity continuous glucose monitor and delivery device in action. (Credit depositphotos.com)
Continuity: non-invasive glucose responsive insulin
(Beginning credit to Abbott FreeStyle Libre)
Continuity: non-invasive glucose responsive insulin (Beginning credit to Abbott FreeStyle Libre)
Continuity product line (Credit: freedesignresources.net)
Continuity product features (Credit: freedesignresources.net)
Continuity (Credit: wallpaperwide.com)
Top left is GlucoWise technology. Bottom right is Generex Biotechnology's RapidMist technology.
What it does
For individuals diagnosed with Type I diabetes, Continuity challenges the current issues of invasive diabetic devices used today by taking advantage of the newest technology to monitor glucose levels and deliver insulin 'non-invasively'.
Diabetes is an increasing worldwide epidemic, affecting 1 in 10 individuals making up 415 million people worldwide. The current invasive diabetic devices used to monitor and treat diabetics are unsafe, painful, overwhelming and time consuming, limiting an individual’s freedom and flexibility. The pain alone is the reasoning behind why 60% of diagnosed diabetic patients do not check their blood glucose levels as recommended, rendering them at risk of developing fatal conditions. Within Australia alone, 1 in 4 hospital beds are taken by those suffering from a diabetic complication, which costs the Government over $14 billion a year.
How it works
The ear device utilises GlucoWise's technology and applies it in a continuous 24/7 glucose monitoring earring device. One side of the device transmits radio-frequency waves through the earlobe, clearing the skin layers, generating a clear picture of the blood cells for the sensor to read the glucose levels on the other side of the earlobe. The device then vibrates to alert users of change in glucose levels and sends alerts to their phone to initiate action. Furthermore, the insulin delivery device is a non-invasive handheld oral device that is sprayed in the mouth, where the pre-dosed insulin is then absorbed into the inner lining of the cheeks. The device uses technology from Generex Biotechnology, accompanied by child locking features, to effectively deliver aerosolized insulin safely and in real time. Both devices communicate through low-energy Bluetooth to an app that sends information to healthcare professionals as well as family members of choice.
It was evident in my research that there was a need for a system of devices that can communicate data to the user as well as healthcare professionals and family members so that progress can be tracked and monitored by all parties to reduce chances of complication. This proved challenging as my goal was to make the devices seamless, subtle, functional and compact, where shape, size and form was important and needed to be extensively explored to include all the chosen features and technology. I also wanted it to be aesthetically pleasing for both sexes, while also able to perform under the harshest conditions. This then led to the need to refine the manufacturing capabilities to encompass these objectives. Both devices are made from low pressure injection moulding of high impact polystyrene, where chrome electroplating has been used for the ear device to withstand high impact sports and to deliver a waterproof casing that is unaffected by sweat or sports, such as swimming. Continuity delivers a harmoniously designed collection while taking universal design considerations into account. By providing non-invasive, reliant, long-lasting durability and performance, Continuity gives control back to the individual, minimizing risk of complications and maximizing quality of life.
How it is different
Continuity is innovative in that it is a seamless collection of devices that uses non-invasive technology to continuously monitor glucose levels (eliminating the need of drawing blood), delivers fast acting delivery of insulin (eliminating the use of needles to inject the insulin), and collects and communicates data efficiently and effectively through low-energy Bluetooth. The ear device is continuous and would help prevent what diabetics fear most, which is falling into a coma while sleeping or during activities, and reduces risks of complications. The app communicates dosage required and displays it on the insulin device screen. The design of the insulin devices safeguards against dangerous unintentional use by providing child lock features, such as sliding the screen to activate the device and a fingerprint activated solenoid. Once activated, the insulin device releases 2 units of bosal insulin in one pump that can be multiplied depending on dosage number.
These communicative, non-invasive devices would ensure continuous monitoring, easy functioning and safe application of insulin. Every diabetic that was approached for user testing wanted to know all about the technology used and when it would be available for purchase. These diabetic individuals are desperate for non-invasive ways to monitor and treat their diabetes as this will enable independence, reduce possibility of complications and maximize quality of life. I am hoping to spread the word of the importance of non-invasive devices and its role in helping millions of people around the world take control of their lives once more.
Good Design Award Gold Winner by Good Design Australia