3-9 AkibaH startup
March 9, 2016

Alumni Startup Creates World’s First Smartphone Glucose Meter

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Fathi Abdelsalam MPA ’13 and his colleagues at AkibaH — a Silicon Valley startup  specializing in utilizing data science has created the world’s first smartphone glucose meter.

The meter, GluCase, utilizes smartphone technology to provide information to diabetes patients about their glucose levels.

“By seamlessly integrating a glucose meter, test strips and lancets into a smartphone case, it eliminates the need for a person with diabetes to carry bulky meters, test supplies and logbooks,” Abdelsalam said.

The project founders said that the name, AkibaH comes from ‘akiba haiozi’ — a Swahili proverb that meaning “a person with foresight will always know prosperity.”

“AkibaH focuses heavily on machine learning for personalized, data-driven care to empower patients,” Abdelsalam said. “As you increase the size of relevant data, you’ll begin to unlock extraordinarily insightful correlations among many different lifestyle factors.”

The founders created GluCase to simplify a traditionally bulky and burdensome glucose meter into a form that could fit onto the back of a smartphone and appeal to a large audience, Abdelsalam said.

“AkibaH and the development of the GluCase began spring 2013 at Cornell in response to the team’s self-imposed challenge to drastically improve the lives of people living with diabetes” he said.

The group began as a collection of Cornell students with a background in engineering and data science, according to Paul Chang M.Eng. ’17.

Abdelsalam said that the founders are excited to realize the potential of health care technology in data science. “AkibaH focuses heavily on machine learning for personalized, data-driven care to empower patients,” he said. “As you increase the size of relevant data, you’ll begin to unlock extraordinarily insightful correlations among many different lifestyle factors.”

As a start-up specializing in data science and health care, the group found that their biggest initial challenge was making sure that they found a solution that fit the needs of their customers.

“After speaking with countless individuals living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, we knew that one way to accomplish our goal would be to simplify the form factor of a traditional, bulky and burdensome glucose meter kit by integrating it with everyone’s most prized possession — our smartphone,” Abdelsalam said.

Cornell opportunities played a large role in steering the founder’s engineering back ground toward product design and development, according to Chang.

“I was friends with one of the founders, Haroon Ismail MBA ’13, and he reached out to me to see if I knew of any mechanical engineers that can help with developing the medical device,” he said. “After showcasing some of my past projects and demonstrating my skills in prototyping, I was soon developing the first iteration of the GluCase.”

After raising the necessary funds to launch the product on the crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo, AkibaH is in the process of beginning production and clinical studies this month, according to the group’s crowdfunding page.

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