Occuity to develop non-contact optical glucose meter
The company suggests the device could be used in optical practices, pharmacies, or domiciliary settings
27 October 2021
Medical tech start-up, Occuity, has raised £2.85 million in investment to develop its non-contact optical glucose meter, the Occuity Indigo.
The company met its original investment target of £1.8 million within 24 hours of launching its crowdfunder, and has secured a total of £2.85 million. This marks the largest amount raised in a MedTech financing deal on the Seedrs crowdfunding platform.
The finance was raised by over 850 investors from 37 countries.
The company suggested that the technology caught the attention of investors for its broad potential applications for conditions including glaucoma, myopia, diabetes management, and pre-diabetes screening. The company also hopes that it could eventually be used in the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease.
The Occuity Indigo device is designed to support patients with diabetes in monitoring their blood-sugar levels through a scan of the eye.
Commenting on the investment, Occuity CEO and co-founder, Dr Dan Daly, said: “Diabetes is a growing, global problem and we believe our technology will enable health services throughout the world to monitor and screen for diabetes, improving the clinical outcomes for the hundreds of millions of people who are unaware they have pre-diabetes or diabetes.”
The device will be based on the company’s optical confocal scanning technology, and will scan the eye’s aqueous humour within the anterior chamber of the eye, with the company suggesting that levels of glucose found in the aqueous humour correlate well with that of the bloodstream.
The company suggest that, with the technology’s ability to take precise measurements of the eye, the Occuity Indigo will be able to detect changes in the refractive index – which alters as the concentration of glucose in the eye changes – and so determine the concentration of glucose in the blood.
Daniele De Iuliis, previously of Apple’s Industrial Design Group and now design director at Occuity, commented on the Occuity Indigo device: “For too long now, the way in which we discover and monitor chronic diseases like diabetes has been routed in repetitive finger stick blood testing with all the pain, discomfort and inconvenience that brings. In contrast, the Occuity Indigo will be a discrete handheld product that will simply scan the eye to take a glucose measurement providing a pain-free 21st century solution that is long overdue.”
The company is comprised of experts from the field of optics, mechanical engineering, and industrial design. Occuity has also partnered with the Royal Berkshire Hospital and the University of Bristol.
Take a look at OT’s interview with Daly for information on Occuity and its technology.
How it works
The company suggests that optical confocal scanning technology can take “very precise” measurements of structures in the eye, down to micron level, detecting the concentration of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) which build up over time. Blue light is used to illuminate the eye, and the returning, scattered blue light is detected, alongside green fluorescent light from the AGEs.
Coupled with machine learning technologies, the company suggests readings from the device could give an indication of whether the patient is non-diabetic, pre-diabetic, or diabetic. Occuity also believes the device, which is non-contact, could be used in optical practices, pharmacies, or domiciliary settings.