Diabetes control digitised
By DEEPSHIKHA PUNJ
13th January 2013 12:00 AM
Sixty-one million people suffer from Type-1 diabetes in India. However, only about 30 per cent of them self-monitor their blood glucose daily. To help them do that, three young entrepreneurs—Hemanshu Jain, Shreekant Pawar and Amir Shaikh—have come up with a new device under the label of their company, Diabeto.
The idea germinated when a colleague’s father was admitted to a hospital. “The clinic where his diabetic father was admitted lost his file and the issue of managing medical data came to light. We realised that for a health issue with no cure, the only option was to effectively manage the disease. And it is possible if glucose readings are taken regularly and analysed frequently. So, we started working on the Diabeto device,” says Jain, co-founder and COO of Diabeto.
The friends worked on a seamless integrated model of hardware and mobile application. This model could allow patients to transfer and manage their daily diabetic records to their smartphone wirelessly from a glucometer without much effort. The device is simple to use and takes only about a minute. “Switch on the Diabeto device and connect it to the glucometer data port. Switch on the mobile app on your android device and select your glucometer, from a list of glucometers. Sync your phone with Diabeto bluetooth to transfer all your readings, after which the app asks for details about your meals, wellness factors, insulin and additional comments. This additional data gets stored along with your readings, and you can add details to all your past readings as well,” explains Jain. Interestingly, the readings can then be analysed in the form of graphs and sent in an Excel or PDF format via email, from the app. Shaped like a bird, the device is portable and convenient. “The bird symbolises freedom and the blue colour is the colour for diabetes,” informs Jain.
The friends made the initial investments from their pockets during their research. “We recently received a funding of $40,000 from the Start-Up Chile programme (of the government of Chile), and we are looking at raising more capital for the mass-manufacturing, marketing, hiring resources and setting up distribution for the Diabeto,” says Jain.
Like any other start-up, the three also faced their share of challenges. “Being a hardware start-up, it is even more difficult. During our research we were not able to get the right hardware chips due to their unavailability in India. We had to order it either from USA or China, and the costs would literally kill us,” says Jain. But the trio did not lose hope. And the product is all set to hit the market by June 2013. “Although we haven't launched the product yet, we are getting a lot of enquiries from India, West Asia, Europe, South America and the US,” quips Jain.
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