More than a glucometer: developing portable sugar control system with full IT infrastructure

Customer

Global HealthCare Management LLC, US company specializing in providing a broad spectrum of marketing services in the medical and healthcare industries.

Aim

Create a complex hardware solution for the daily measurement of blood sugar levels.

4-Step-Solution

Step 1. Miniature device to be shared with mobile phones

Challenges

To create the most efficient circuit for converting audio signal to supply voltage, and minimize power consumption.

Result

The main feature of the device is no power source of its own. No need for batteries and accumulators, constant replacement and risk of discharge at the moment of urgency. The device connects to the headphone jack, being powered through it, and communicating with the phone. The device size was one of the smallest existing analogues. To achieve this, some electronic components have been developed specifically for this project.

A prototype made worked stably on about 90% of the mobile device models available on the market. After that, a project was prepared for mass production.

Step 2. Measuring sensor: Glucometer test strips

Challenge

To solve various technological problems when manufacturing a blood glucometer test strip due to small (tenths of a millimeter) dimensions of its components, as well as repeatability of measurement results by sensors.

Result

We developed a high-level glucometer test strips with the best analogs characteristics: measurement time up to 5 s, accuracy up to 10%, thickness up to 0.3 mm, required amount of blood for measurement up to 2 μg, temperature from -20 to 50 degrees. Chemical enzyme was produced jointly with the Institute of Microbiology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Minsk. The plastic backing and the conductive pattern were designed to match the connectors available on the market, as well as its own measurement circuit. Measuring stands and a set of accessories for small-scale glucometer test strips production have been prepared.

Step 3. Independent glucometer device with its own screen

Challenge

To create a measurement scheme for sensors of our own design.

Result

Independent glucometer was developed in parallel to the glucometer test strips in addition to the miniature device. When developing the device design and user interface, we closely communicated with people with diabetes, discussing the convenience of implementing this or that functionality. The blood glucometer body and LCD screen are of our own design. Bluetooth Low Energy for pairing with smartphones. Energy efficient microcontrollers and firmware optimizations for maximum battery life.

Step 4. IT infrastructure

Aim

To create IT infrastructure for mobile applications, personal accounts on the Internet, provide an option of sending glucometer measurements to a doctor for diagnostics.

Result

Mobile applications for IOS and Android, indication and storage of glucometer measurement results, synchronization with the cloud on AWS resources.

Stack of technologies

HW platform: Microchip PIC18, Nordic nRF, ST STM32 MCU families

Programming languages: C, Assembler

Communication: Bluetooth LE, USB, custom protocol via audio port

Measurements: Instrumentation Amplifier

Custom HW components: LCD display, transformer, strip connector, 3.5 jack connector

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