A graduate from the University of Huddersfield has designed a discrete earring that could revolutionise the management of type 1 diabetes.
And the technology could now be set for millions of pounds worth of funding after beating thousands of entries from around the world to make the final of the 2020 Global Grad Show.
Tyra Kozlow, 22, who studied product design in Huddersfield, has developed a non-invasive monitor that tests blood sugar levels and delivers feedback in real-time.
The Sense Glucose Earring, which requires a single lobe piercing, uses safe high-frequency radio waves that travel through the lobe and provide data on the characteristics of the blood.
Once the blood has been monitored, an app connected to the earring sends the user notifications from a Smartphone or Smartwatch with information on their current blood sugar levels.
The app also has the capacity to share data, analyse trends and help the user manage their condition, while the earring comes with a wireless charging case and customisable design.
Ideal diabetes management is based on finding the perfect balance of medication to keep a patient’s blood sugar level in the target range in order to avoid health complications.
According to diabetes.co.uk, six out of seven teenagers struggle to get their long term blood sugar control within the target range of an HbA1c value of below 7.5 per cent.
And the inspiration for Tyra’s design came about following a focus group she chaired with a group of parents whose children have type 1 diabetes.
Tyra, now a product designer at the Halifax -based Project:ff&e Ltd, was told of the stigma the group’s children experienced and that they would often avoid diabetes management while with friends because they felt ashamed.
“Even though type 1 diabetes is not the fault of the person affected by it, and is not related to any behavioural patterns or choices, young people diagnosed with the condition do experience a distressing level of stigma,” said Tyra, who graduated from the University of Huddersfield in July of this year.
“They can be twice as likely to have poor glycaemic control which can lead to further health problems.
“I hope Sense will help teenagers feel more in control of their diabetes and that they will feel encouraged to manage their condition around their friends as it’s a piece of Smart Technology.”
She added: “By making monitoring the process as easy as measuring your heart rate on a Smartwatch, I hope this will lessen the stigma so it becomes much more a part of everyday life.”
The Sense Glucose Earring could now be in line to receive up to £2million in funding after making the final of the 2020 Global Grad Show.
The event is an exhibition of graduate work from the world’s leading design and technology schools which aims to put graduates in touch with those who can assist with and fund their research.
This year, a total of 270 universities submitted 1,600 projects which have now been whittled down to 100.
Two designs will go on to secure as much as £2million over a ten-year fund to help bring the product to market.
You can view the shortlisted entries, here.