A pair of earrings that can help monitor blood sugar and an
anklet to control incontinence have caught the attention of
international venture capitalists.
The winning ideas have emerged out of a global boot camp hosted
in Brisbane by Queensland University of Technology and the world's
top ranked university
Massachusetts Institute of
Brisbanites Tamara Mills and Nyree McKenzie competed against
more than 6,000 applicants from more than 30 countries to win for
The concept of using jewellery to help control
gestational diabetes came after 28-year-old Ms
Mills battled the disease herself.
Tamara Mills wears a dummy prototype of her earrings
which she hopes will eliminate the need for diabetes
needles. -ABC NEWS: LEXY HAMILTON-SMITH
Instead of having to prick a finger up to six times a day to
test blood sugar levels, her team developed a pair of earrings to
painlessly do the job instead.
It is a non-invasive, continuous blood glucose monitor that
completely eliminates the need to prick your finger.
"It is similar to using infrared technology, so it is completely
painless. It uses light," Ms Mills said.
"And it is continually sending information to your mobile device
with your blood sugar levels."
The earrings come with an app that can analyse photos of what a
diabetic is about to eat, and then assess what impact the food will
have on the body's insulin levels.
"So if you feel like eating something like a donut when you are
pregnant, all you have to do is input 'pink iced donut' into your
phone and it will tell you based on your historical data and your
current blood sugar level what your likely response to eating that
donut will be," Ms Mills said.
"Or it will give a suggestion like 'eat a quarter [of the
doughnut] or eat yoghurt instead'."
Ms Mills said up to 60 per cent of women with gestational
diabetes did not comply with regular self-monitoring requirements
and diet control recommendations.
Team-mate Courtney Condren, who is also diabetic, said their
dream was to take the product to market and eventually spread out
from gestational diabetes.
Ms Condren, who is diabetic, wants to take the
earrings to market. ABC NEWS: LEXY
The technology can also be adapted from earrings into a watch or
A dummy prototype has been made, but is yet to be patented, so
the team cannot release the exact science behind the device.
Anklet to give confidence to the
Nyree Mckenzie watched her father live with the indignity
"It really struck me how limiting and isolating living
with incontinence is for people," she said.
"There had to be a better way than this limiting, shameful
secret that people are living with."
Her team designed a discreet, non-invasive anklet that
pulsates to stimulate nerves.
That stimulation normalises the neural communication
between the bladder, bowel and brain.
- ABC News