10-year-old in Aus invents blood test strip disposal unit

Last Updated 02 August 2015, 10:30 IST

A 10-year-old diabetic boy in Australia has used a 3D printer to develop a blood test strip disposal unit and his invention may even win him a trip to NASA's Kennedy Space Centre in the US.

William Grame, who has been suffering from type-1 diabetes for three years, has to prick his finger to test his blood sugar levels up to 10 times per day.

This requires the use of a new test strip each time, and their disposal was becoming a problem.

"The blood test strips are little and fiddly, I get in trouble for leaving them in test kit or lying around the house," Grame told 'Sydney Morning Herald'.

"You can find test strips everywhere when there is a diabetic around, on the floor, in mum's handbag in the car and in my sports bags," he said.

Grame, a student of St Edmund's College in Canberra, designed the blood test strip disposal unit using a 3D printer.

The small and lightweight disposal unit has been measured to fit any diabetes kit. The blood test strips can be fed into the disposal unit directly without being touched.

"I was particularly impressed with the concept of grabbing the strip, teachers and nurses help look after type-1 diabetics in day school, and of course they can't touch bloody strips," said his mother, Elizabeth.

Grame has entered his invention into Origin's littleBIGidea competition, a competition in Australia that aims to foster creativity and innovation in young students.

"It's inspiring to see the next generation of innovators coming up with ideas like William's and demonstrating the power of imaginative thinking," said Origin Executive general manager Phil Craig.

The winner of the competition will get a chance to visit NASA's Kennedy Space Centre, although Grame said he would be happy just to be a finalist, who will all receive USD 1,000 each.

Grame is currently getting 15 of the disposal units printed, and selling them for USD 3 each under his company Diabetes Domination. 

(Published 02 August 2015, 10:30 IST)

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