CLEMSON, S.C (WSPA) – A better test for diabetes could be on the way, thanks to two Clemson researchers. It’s not just helping man, but also man’s best friend.
Clemson PHD student, Kayla Wilson, is a lifelong diabetic with a goal to help others with the disease. It was this school trip to Tanzania where she saw, first hand, how dire the problem diabetes is in 3rd world countries.
“I was out of the [glucose test] strips that I needed. We went all over to other pharmacies,” Wilson Explained.
Nobody carried those supplies.
“I went six days without being able to check my blood sugar, which is a long time for me, but for most diabetics in low resource settings, that is the norm,” she said.
It sparked an idea that she took to her bioengineering professor, Dr. Delphine Dean.
They created a coated paper tab that they dubbed “Life-Tab.” The idea is a drop of blood will turn it colors, based on the level of glucose in your bloodstream. A mobile app takes a picture of the tab and produces a reading of the color.
“We’re hoping by making something relatively cheap and affordable, but at the same time, easy to use, we will get people to better monitor,” said Dr. Dean.
The idea caught on and sparked a question.
“People started asking could we use this for our diabetic dog,” said Dean.
That’s where “Vet-Tab” came in. It is a similar idea, but uses your pet’s saliva.
Business partner and CEO of Accessible Diagnostics, John Warner explained.
“For a pet owner, instead of having to prick their animal and get a drop of blood, they get a drop of saliva, use their phone and get a number, it’s a game changer for them,” said Warner.
Vet-Tab could soon be on store shelves and it allows for further FDA testing for Life-Tab. The hope is to have Vet-Tab on shelves by 2017 and Life-Tab by 2018.
Their ultimate goal is to reach the 700 million people in the world who have a form of diabetes.
To learn more about “Vet-Tab” and “Life-Tab” and ways you can help, click HERE.