Former Apple designer to develop non-invasive glucose meter
An ex-Apple employee is on a mission to create a non-invasive glucose meter that operates by scanning the eye.
After working as an Apple designer for 27 years, Daniele De Iuliis is now using his expertise and skills to revolutionise diabetes care.
He is a founding investor in Occuity, a Reading based start-up developing an optical device to non-invasively measure glucose in the blood.
The technology will operate by shining a low power beam of light into the eye to detect any minor alterations determine glucose levels within the aqueous humour, which has been demonstrated to very closely match glucose within the blood stream.
According to De Iuliis, Occuity Indigo is a pen-shaped device, making it easier to transport and combat any associated stigma.
He said: “Having witnessed existing finger stick testing first hand, I think the idea that you can easily take a pain-free measurement of yourself or a loved one, young or old, is most definitely a game changer.”
Occuity CEO and co-founder, Dr Dan Daly, said: “Most attempts to deliver a non-invasive solution for measuring glucose have been focused on the skin, using techniques such as near-infrared spectroscopy and reverse iontophoresis.
“Whilst some of these have shown success in studies and controlled environments, they have tended to fall down in real world testing.”
He added: “The skin has many variables that affect the results such as the temperature, pressure, sweat and colour.
“The eye on the other hand is a very stable medium. For starters, the eye is “designed” to let light in, and our technology embraces this fact to make measurements in the aqueous humour which is situated at the front of the eye and contains a fluid which is an ultrafiltrate of blood.”
He concluded: “This means that it is very similar to the blood in our veins but does not have red blood cells. Studies have shown that the levels of glucose in the aqueous humour changes very quickly in relation to the change in the blood.”
To measure the glucose levels in the eye, Occuity’s technology works by accurately measuring the refractive index – the optical density – of the aqueous humour. The refractive index changes with the concentration of glucose and this allows for a glucose measurement to be made non-invasively via the eye.
To support the development process of the Occuity Indigo, the team behind the device is building a community of people who share an interest in diabetes.
Already over 8,000 strong, the community are given the opportunity to share their views on the technology, the concept designs and even the name.
The community will also be invited to support the project by taking part in surveys, clinical trials and product testing and even buying shares in the company through a live crowdfunding round.
De Iuliis said: “Diabetes is a very personal issue and of course, once you have it, it’s likely with you for the rest of your life.
“If we can detect it earlier, it will allow intervention and hopefully reduce the number of people developing full blown diabetes.”
He concluded: “For those who do live with the condition, we know they want a non-invasive solution, and we want to engage with them and give them the opportunity to support our work and join us on this journey to try to improve their lives and the lives of millions more across the globe.”