New watch saves diabetics’ time

The watch element of Sub-Scope.

An innovative monitoring system for diabetes patients designed by a Victoria University of Wellington student was one of the top 20 international entries in the prestigious James Dyson Award.

Sub-Scope, designed by Industrial Design student RuiFeng Yeo, is a glucose monitoring system primarily designed for type one diabetics.

The system consists of a waterproof watch, a small implant which sits beneath the skin, and a smartphone app.

The implant monitors the user’s blood glucose levels and relays data to the watch and smartphone app every two minutes.

The watch displays this data through colours and animations, with blue representing the safe zone and blinking red representing the critical zone.

If users need to know their exact glucose level a simple swipe across the watch screen will display a reading. This feature can also be accessed in the smartphone app.

Yeo says he wanted to design a device that would allow type one diabetics to exercise without interrupting their momentum to check their blood glucose levels.

“Subdermal implants which sit beneath the skin allow us to peer into our bodies in order to understand them better. The system allows users to monitor what’s happening inside their bodies, without having to disrupt what they’re doing,” says Yeo.

The Head of Victoria’s School of Design, Margaret Petty, congratulated Yeo on being shortlisted for the James Dyson Award.

“This is the fourth year in a row a Victoria student has been shortlisted for the Dyson, which is one of the top international design awards. This consistent high standing is evidence of the quality of our design programmes,” says Petty.

“Yeo’s entry shows how great design can contribute to a better quality of life and personal well-being.”

James Dyson Award is an international competition that is open to current and recent design engineering students in 20 countries, with a prize pool of more than $50,000.

The Sub-Scope project was part of research conducted at the MedTech Centre of Research Excellence. Working with Yeo were fellow students Isla Davies, Julia Loach, and PhD candidate Gillian McCarthy.

More information on the Sub-Scope can be found at jamesdysonaward.