june 2015

Accessibility x Medical x Energy Harvesting


A smartphone-based blood glucose monitor.  Many of our coworkers suffered from diabetes.  They approached us with the simple question: is there a way to streamline their blood glucose monitors, make them simpler or easier to use.  Through much ideation, user research, and interviews, we decided to adapt this idea to a smartphone-based blood glucose monitoring phone case.  The case would be able to sense and take in blood glucose levels, send the data to the phone app, and thereby help the user track their blood sugar levels.



My main responsibilities were user research, hardware design, and case design. How would users interact with this device, what is the overall look and feel, and how can we create something that isn’t too obstructive?  In attempting to answer these questions, we went back and forth with ideas about energy, how does this device sustain itself?  We settled with a hack that enabled us to power the blood glucose reader solely off the energy created through the sound transferred from the headphone jack of the smartphone.  We learned that if we maintained a certain audio frequency from the headphone jack, we could power the entire sensor long enough to complete the precise computation of the user’s blood glucose levels.