According to the World Health Organization, there are about 350 million diabetes sufferers today, with the numbers expected to rise to 590 million in the next 20 years. Diabetic patients use different devices to keep up with their illness, such as blood glucose meters, glucose test strips, blood lancets, insulin shots, insulin needles and the like. Patients have to bear the pain of taking blood samples and insulin shots just to keep their blood sugar levels in check.
Circle Life is a smart wearable bracelet device for diabetes patients. It combines the latest technologies, including insulin patches with micro-needles and a non-invasive low-current blood glucose sensor. This may help simplify the process and minimise pain for patients, thus making their day-to-day lives more pleasant. The design is motivated by three main goals: to detect blood sugar levels in a non-invasive fashion; to provide a way to get an insulin injection without pain; and lastly, to create an easy-to-use and robust health management system with a mobile application.
The whole process is easy. First, notifications can be set via the mobile application to remind the user to check his or her blood sugar level. Next, the user only has to put a finger on the metal plate to detect the blood sugar level. Upon successful testing, an insulin patch will pop out. The user may now proceed to apply the patch on the arm or the stomach area. The entire process is documented by the application, which also gives an overview of the user’s health status.
The insulin patch makes use of a micro-needle technology. One long needle is divided into 361 much smaller ones with a diameter of only 1 micro-metre each. When pushed into the skin, the micro needles release the insulin without causing any pain – a contrast to traditional injections. The non-invasive sensor works by probing the user’s hypodermis with low currents. This detects the concentration of NaCl, which is in turn used to measure glucose. This is done without penetrating the skin.
Circle Life wants diabetes patients to lead simpler lives without having to worry about a myriad of devices. Just bring along the bracelet and a smartphone to start living better. The data gathered by the device is automatically uploaded to the cloud storage, which can be accessed by the patient, their doctor and family members. In addition, the charging stand for the Circle Life bracelet also doubles up as a box to store insulin patches.
National Taipei University of Technology, Graduate Institute of Innovation and Design, Department of Industrial Design, Taiwan, R.O.C