February 29, 2024

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Revolutionising Diabetes Care in New Zealand

Image credits: canterbury.ac.nz

Dr Jake Campbell, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Canterbury, collaborated with Dr Lui Holder-Pearson, Francis Pooke, and Matt Payne during their doctoral studies in Mechanical Engineering to develop cost-effective insulin pump designs.

Individuals with type 1 diabetes predominantly utilise insulin pumps, and a self-funded pump can cost approximately US$10,000. Those with type 1 diabetes lacking access to a self-funded or Pharmacist-funded pump resort to multiple daily insulin injections to regulate their glucose levels.

Dr Campbell explains that their pump design aims to reduce costs significantly, with an estimated price of around US$2000, while providing the same advantages and outcomes as the pricier counterparts. This innovation presents an affordable alternative for individuals managing diabetes.

“Our objective is to ensure that everyone has fair access to top-notch diabetes treatment at an affordable cost, ultimately enhancing health results,” explained the team. Currently, only 16% of eligible individuals in New Zealand have access to an insulin pump, with approximately 3,300 being funded by Pharmac.

Dr Jake Campbell, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Canterbury (UC), alongside Dr Lui Holder-Pearson, Francis Pooke, and Matt Payne, developed more cost-effective insulin pump designs during their Mechanical Engineering PhDs at UC.

Diabetes presents a significant healthcare challenge in New Zealand, partially exacerbated by high obesity rates. Type 2 diabetes affects about 5% of the population, projected to rise to 7% by 2040.

Lower socio-economic groups bear the brunt of escalating healthcare expenses, resulting in poorer health outcomes due to limited access to cutting-edge diabetes management technology. The team aims to bridge this healthcare gap by providing affordable diabetes treatment options.

Their low-cost insulin pump, expected to cost around US$2,000, seeks to make advanced diabetes management more accessible. Only 16% of eligible individuals in New Zealand have access to insulin pumps, with about 3,300 funded by Pharmac.

The team also plans to launch data management software later this year to efficiently record patients’ diabetes data and information in a centralised system. This software will benefit individuals with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes and healthcare providers.

Over 26,000 New Zealanders live with Type 1 diabetes, while 50,000 require insulin therapy. Globally, there are 97 million insulin-dependent individuals.

The team intends to file a patent for their low-cost insulin pump in the coming months. Demand for insulin pumps is rising internationally, paralleling the increasing prevalence of diabetes, resulting in a global insulin pump market worth over US$4.6 billion.

The team includes Dr Jennifer Hoi Ki Wong, a Lecturer in the UC School of Psychology specialising in barriers to technology adoption, and Dr Grace Walker, a UC PhD Psychology graduate and data scientist focusing on community engagement for the project, with a particular focus on rural and urban Māori communities. Engaging with these communities is essential as they are disproportionately affected by diabetes.

Improved access to technology has the potential to enhance the daily lives of these communities. Rural areas are a primary target because, in some cases, individuals with diabetes must travel up to two hours to see a doctor. This approach aligns with broader healthcare initiatives to reduce health disparities and improve overall well-being.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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