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Smart Gluco

SmartGluco is a wearable insulin pump for ‘type one’ diabetics that continuously delivers insulin and monitors blood glucose readings using micro-needles in a minimally invasive way.

  • Smart Gluco Wearable Insulin Pump Continuous Glucose Monitor

  • Video of the Final Smart Gluco product and app

    Video of the Final Smart Gluco product and app

  • Smart Gluco - Product Marketing Board

  • Smart Gluco - Product Interface

  • Final Sketches and Models

  • Product Features:LED light, Product Packaging, Insulin Cartridge, Adhesive attachment, Exploded view

What it does

My solution offers drug delivery of insulin, glucose monitoring, customized alerts using the app, coaching on diet and lifestyle, better control with easier self-management and uses algorithms to sense the user's patterns and remedy their glucose fluctuations.

Your inspiration

I worked in Analog Devices in my 3rd year of college as work placement. While working here, I worked on a project for an innovation competition. Our team focused on innovations in continuous glucose monitoring for diabetics and trying to make this method less invasive. The project was for a competition within the company. One of my colleagues on the team was living with Type 1 diabetes. Once I began to learn about the complexities involved in managing diabetes on a day to day basis, I became very interested in this area. As I began speaking to more diabetics, I decided I wanted to focus on Diabetes management for my Final year Design project.

How it works

The micro-needles used on the insulin pump are hollow to allow sensors and insulin to be passed through. They penetrate the epidermis layer of the skin into the dermis layer to get blood glucose readings using glucose sensors and allow insulin to pass through. The product can connect with a smart device using the app and low power energy Bluetooth to receive feedback and access the product settings and from here can be customized. The LED light on the front of the product is an “at a glance” feature which turns red if the diabetics blood sugars fall below the recommended amount. The LED is for when a diabetic may not have direct access to their phone e.g. when playing a sports game, the light can tell the user if they need to take some form of sugar. The algorithms in the product also predict the users patterns and when their levels may fluctuate so that the user will know these predicted changes at all time. e.g. they will know if they are safe to drive a car

Design process

Originally, this was a wearable insulin pump which could be worn on various infusion points on the body and receive insulin throughout the day. This would reduce the need for cannulas, make a less bulky looking pump and eliminate need for heavy pumps that attach to the users clothing. I included the use of micro-needles in this concept for the drug delivery of insulin as well as continually monitoring the glucose. The wearable pump would send CGM readings to a diabetics smart phone or watch. The CGM and insulin pump feature work together to allow easier management for the user. I made models to demonstrate a wearable insulin pump where the person could wear the pump and have insulin delivered to them through different areas of the body. The pump originally used a gel pads to stick the product to the skin but now uses adhesive. If the user is exercising or playing sports, they can use a belt to make it more secure. I made prototypes of new pumps in comparison to a current insulin pump by creating reference pieces such as the battery, reservoir and size of current pumps and from here, I modelled various improvements. I experimented the product being something wearable on a strap or bandage and explored how this might be worn discreetly on the body rather than attached to clothing

How it is different

The product is wearable and can reduce long-term health risks. It eliminates the use of cannulas to eliminate the risk of insulin blockages. For the user, the product is two essential needs amalgamated into one by continuously monitoring glucose as well as delivering insulin in a closed loop system as well as being discreet looking. The microneedles make the drug delivery and glucose monitoring less invasive than current products out there. It eliminates the need for painful applicators to apply the product and the microneedles can be applied to skin using thumb pressure when attaching the product to the adhesive. The microneedles will feel almost like 'Velcro' on the skin and the infusion spot should be changed every 24 hours. This product is transferable across all ages and through the phone app which can be customized to adults or children. The product provides a range of educational and alert systems to ensure maximum self-management with minimal effort.

Future plans

I plan to work with an innovation team in Limerick to market my product in the US. I plan on patenting this in the U.S also and potentially selling the concept to a medical company here. I have already received a lot of feedback from Type 1 diabetics and was impressed with the demand for this kind of product. I have gotten very positive feedback on the aesthetic of the design and willingness of users to wear this product on the body everyday. I believe there is huge potential for a product like this and I hope that eventually, I will be able to bring this to market.


I won runner up in our internal University Entrepreneurship Awards.

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