Keep your medication safe at the correct temperature and never leave it behind again!
Even if you don’t have diabetes, you probably know that it requires frequent monitoring of blood sugar levels, which can be regulated with the drug insulin. But you may not know that insulin itself requires monitoring to keep the medication at safe temperatures so it doesn’t lose its effectiveness.
Insulin Angel is a temperature and proximity sensor designed especially to keep tabs on insulin and other temperature-sensitive medications. As long as the lozenge-shaped device is tucked in with the medicine, diabetics and their caregivers can receive smartphone notifications about unsafe temperatures, or if they’re about to leave their medication behind.
The Insulin Angel mobile app is pre-loaded with recommended temperature ranges for dozens of common varieties of insulin and other drugs, and can be configured with custom ranges too. It even pays attention to weather forecasts and incorporates those into its notifications, which are meant to alert the user of an impending problem before the medication gets too hot or too cold. Proximity notifications are based on Bluetooth pairing, but include a geofencing feature so there won’t be false alarms while at home.
Inside the device is a small, single-board sensor based on the WunderBar prototyping kit. It’s powered by a single, user-replaceable coin battery that should last for a year or more—to save power, Insulin Angel takes readings at five-minute intervals and communicates over Bluetooth Low Energy. There’s enough internal memory to store several weeks of temperature logs, so users can check that there haven’t been any unwanted temperature fluctuations even if their phone hasn’t been in range in a while.
Relayr, the company behind WunderBar, also provides a cloud service that allows sensor data from Insulin Angel to be shared remotely. That way the parent of a diabetic child (or any caregiver of a diabetic person) can stay in the loop—whenever the device sends a Bluetooth notification to the patients’ phone, it will be passed on through the Internet to the parent or caregiver as well.
Insulin Angel is raising funds on Indiegogo through May 8, and is planned to ship in June. The designers recognize that temperature control is especially challenging in the developing world, and have partnered with the Kenyan healthcare organization Access Afya to make it as easy for backers to donate a device as it is to order their own. Learn more in the video below.