Personal Diabetes Monitoring By Co Optical
Less Painful Diabetes Monitoring
Personal diabetes monitoring is presently a painfully critical process of repeated pin-pricks, whole blood samples, and disposal of bloodied needles and test strips for almost 30 million diabetics and 86 million with pre-diabetes. Washington State University (WSU) student entrepreneurs, Samuel Byrd and Zane Duke of startup Co Optical want to radically change that protocol with a patentpending combination of signals from the skin around the eyes which mirror blood glucose fluctuations, biosensor-enabled eyeglasses and “smartphone apps”. This noninvasive system would also give realtime results, tabulate the data and allow diabetics to fine-tune how they manage lifestyle choices, diet, and medications.
This noninvasive system would also give realtime results, tabulate the data and allow diabetics to finetune how they manage lifestyle choices, diet, and medications. Currently, most personally monitored daily blood glucose values are “snapshots” mentally cataloged or handwritten in notebooks provided by the test strip manufacturers.
Co Optical’s Unique Blood Glucose Monitors
Generating that data often requires disengaging from whatever activity diabetics are involved in and either explaining to others what you’re doing or hastily documenting the results, so you can return to what you were doing. Factors that influence blood glucose like how long ago your last meal was, are not typically not recorded. In the absence of accurate longterm data, physicians use the A1C value determined from a blood draw and laboratory analysis.
The pathway from having a great idea to bringing a real product into the marketplace is long and best undertaken with skilled guides who help anticipate problems “around the corner”, find solutions and most importantly facilitate critical contacts. After winning WSU and University of Washington business plan competitions for best social impact, best presentation and receiving a combined $10,000 in funding, the Co Optical team enrolled in the “Be The Entrepreneur Bootcamp™” (BTE Bootcamp™).
“We saw the BTE Bootcamp™ and the opportunity it provided in developing and showcasing our company and product as a way to further our entrepreneurial education both through learning in workshops and through learning directly from discussions with various experts, speakers, and local entrepreneurs.”
BTE Bootcamp™ presenters, mentors, and fellow entrepreneurs shared feedback that helped “fill in the blanks” and kept Co Optical’s founders from getting into a rut as their business plan, pitch practice and the path forward was refined and additional funding options explored.
“Additionally examining your business model canvas and business plan are very good educational and practical exercises that force you to break down your business into components and allow you to focus on what matters when it matters, and to whom it matters.”
Co Optical is a charter member of the Crimson Commerce Club, a shared workspace for new ventures located in the old National Guard Armory building in downtown Pullman. They are using those facilities to transition their team of highly motivated entrepreneurial students into an operating company.