Probe Scientific develop innovative products that provide solutions to clinical problems and improve healthcare outcomes. Utilising the latest developments in technology, they have made successful advances toward continuous blood glucose monitoring within critical care. Smallfry worked in collaboration with Probe Scientific and electronic developers Datalink, to develop an effective and user friendly wearable device, suitable for low volume batch production.
The ContinuMon device has a low energy Bluetooth sensor module, which forms part of their continuous online glucose monitoring system. There is evidence that patients within intensive care lose the ability to produce glucose after a period of time, therefore it is important to monitor a patient’s glucose level regularly. Usually this process is carried out through analysing a sample of a patient’s blood, via cannula or finger prick test. The breakthrough with this new system is that it allows for the continuous monitoring of glucose levels without the need for blood withdrawal.
Smallfry created the Sensor Module design to keep the unit as small and
portable as possible, allowing the unit to be easily wrist-mounted so the
patient can move free around the hospital. The integration of the Flow
sensor unit ensured that it was both easy to use and securely retained.
The system works in conjunction with Probe’s MicroEye technology.
An intravenous micro-dialysis catheter that samples a range of substances
from the blood without the actual withdrawal of any blood. The MicroEye is
inserted into the peripheral vascular system through a standard cannula.
A solution gets pumped through the MicroEye and a semi-permeable membrane
allows the sensor to analyse the glucose level in the solution as it passes
through, without any direct contact with the sample.
Prototyping & Design for manufacture
Having developed the details of an appropriate casing design, batches of
early prototype units were created and assembled for use in tests.
A combination of 3D printing and silicon tooling was used to create
verified designs. This led to initial small batch production runs, created
utilising aluminium tooling and injection moulding manufacturing processes,
to achieve fully functioning product samples that could be used in trials.
The housing unit had to be designed to allow easy disposal of the flow sensor after use. It also had to ensure that it remained mechanically retained in the device so it cannot become removed whilst the device is in use. The MicroEye and wearable device transforms point-of-care blood sampling from the traditional ‘point in time’ results from an externally tested blood sample, to automated continuous monitoring of a vast range of potential analytes, improving outcomes in critical care.
Provides real-time data to standalone monitors, bedhead array systems or hospital information systems.
A wide range of substances can be monitored using the MicroEye and ContinuMon, including electrolytes, amino acids, hormones, neurotransmitters, Inflammatory mediators and more. This allows for a wide variety of applications and markets, ranging from Intensive Care to Cardiology and Paediatrics.