Revolutionising how people with diabetes manage their insulin injections.
Meet one of our #VarsityPitch2018 Finalists — Liam Mc Morrow, Founder of Adelie Health.
Liam, the founder of Adelie Health, has lived with type 1 diabetes for 16 years and became frustrated that there was no way of checking if he had given an insulin injection. This might sound surprising but with type 1 diabetes, you have to inject insulin with every meal, multiple times per day so it becomes a routine process. And when it becomes routine, it becomes easy to forget. One person with diabetes compared it to locking your front door, you’re pretty sure you did but sometimes you’re not entirely sure. However, with insulin injections this creates a lot of anxiety because it can increase the risk of missing an insulin dose or double dosing which can be dangerous. In extreme circumstances, it can lead to a diabetic coma, hospitalisation, and potentially death.
Liam developed the idea of PenPal to help solve this problem. A replacement pen cap that fits on to existing insulin pens to track usage. We have worked with physicists to build our sensor technology which is the clever bit. Our sensor can track how much insulin has been used and at what time. Therefore, the user will always know whether or not they gave an injection. In a nutshell, we have turned an insulin pen into a smart device.
Clinicians have told us that PenPal can make their job easier too because they are no longer asking the patient to remember specific details about last Tuesday, they can just check the app to see the usage data.
Everyone knows that diabetes is a big problem. Approximately 60 million people require insulin around the world which means that PenPal can help a lot of people and potentially prevent many hospitalisations.
Being the founder of Adelie Health has been an exciting journey and we have received lots of support from a number of organisations. Most recently, we won a 50,000 euro grant from EIT Health. This funding will allow us to further develop our prototype and allow Liam to reduce time in his day job to one day a week as a researcher in the health economics of diabetes at the University of Oxford. Liam was also shortlisted for Oxford Young Entrepreneur of the Year and is now in the NACUE Varsity Pitch UK finals!