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glucose meter, glucometer, earring, new technology, type 1 diabetes

Could a Glucose-Reading Earring be the Future of Type 1 Management?

A new technology may make it much easier to manage your diabetes–and it’s in the form of an earring. 

The new device is one of 20 finalists for the James Dyson Award for design. According to jamesdysonaward.org, this award “celebrates, encourages, and inspires the next generation of design engineers,” and is meant to discover new designs by engineering students that aim to solve a specific problem. The winner will receive a £35,000 (approx. $45,000 US) prize.

Frederique Sunstrum, a PhD student in industrial design at the University of New South Wales in Australia, designed the project, which is called “Continuity.” It consists of a chrome earring that contains a tiny glucose meter, an insulin inhaler mist via Bluetooth, and a smartphone app. It uses a CGM technology being developed by GlucoWise. 

The earring

The chrome “earring” is a glucose meter that examines blood cells in the earlobe through radio frequency waves. If blood sugar levels change drastically, the earring will vibrate, alerting the user. It will also send a message to the app to wake up the wearer. The app is able to store and share data as well. 

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Oral insulin

The oral insulin spray is a new product invented by Generex. The user sprays the mist into their mouth like an inhaler, where it’s absorbed into the lining of the cheeks. The pump is an original design by Frederique Sunstrum. It comes with safety features like a slide lock and fingerprint activation. 

This concept, if developed into a usable system, could really change the game for people with type 1 diabetes. It would eliminate injections overall, and make the entire management process non-invasive.

The Continuity system was already a Gold Winner in Australia’s Good Design Awards. The winner of the award will be picked by James Dyson and announced on Thursday, November 14.