Congratulations to Dr Venky Dubey and Postdoctoral Researcher Dr Neil Vaughan for receive ‘highly commended’ in three categories at the Institution of Engineering and Technology awards. They and their collaborators – Bournemouth University, the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch NHS Foundation Trust and Poole Hospital Trust – were nominated for a smartphone device for monitoring sensation loss in patients with diabetes, which enables patients to self-monitor their symptoms and wirelessly transmit their results to their consultants.
Over time, people with diabetes can develop nerve damage, caused by prolonged exposure to high blood glucose levels. Sensation loss needs to be monitored by medical professionals to try and limit further damage. The severity of the nerve damage will dictate the frequency of hospital visits, but it can be as often as monthly which is quite time intensive for both patient and consultant.
The device, created by Dr Venky Dubey and his Postdoctoral Researcher Dr Neil Vaughan, involved the development of a smartphone app and a 3D probe fitted to the phone. The 3D probe is designed to vibrate, according to the intensity set by the app, which helps to analyse the levels of sensation loss in a patient. This data, along with basic details such as weight and height, are recorded by the app and can be transmitted to a GP or consultant who can monitor the need for further treatment or check-ups. As well as being a considerable time saver for both patients and medical professionals, the device also helps to give patients more control over their care.
Having their work recognised at an international level and placed in the same categories as organisations such as BT, Lockheed Martin and QinetiQ is a real achievement and is a tribute to the excellent work carried out by the research team involved.