“The fear of getting a blood test, even if it means a prick on the tip of your finger, is a cause of fear for many,” says Sunil Maddikatala, CEO and founder of Hyderabad-based BlueSemi. To find a way to tackle this fear, the company has developed a non-invasive glucometer called Eyva.
Eyva is a health tech gadget which, when placed on the surface of your skin, is capable of taking six biometric readings within just 60 seconds — blood glucose, temperature, ECG, heart rate, SpO2 for blood oxygen, and blood pressure, Sunil says.
“As a health-tech start up, we have been working in this space for over four years now,” he tells The Better India.
“Launching Sens, a contactless body temperature measuring device during COVID-19, made us look at the larger health tech space. We realised that diabetes is a bigger problem that plagues the country.”
According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), 463 million people suffer from diabetes worldwide as of 2020, of which 88 million are from southeast Asia. And of these 88 million, 77 million belong to India.
“Unfortunately, if diabetes is not treated and kept under control, it can lead to several other health issues, including death,” says Sunil, adding that Eyva was conceptualised to help people make informed choices about what they eat, how much they eat, and how their body reacts.
Design Inspired by Mercedes
For Sunil, a post-graduate from IIIT-Hyderabad, developing a product that allowed the user to experience world-class service was important. “The idea behind Eyva was to develop an easy to use and affordable product that was connected in nature,” says Sunil.
He adds that his research showed that people only used health tech gadgets when ill. This understanding spurred him to pay very close attention to the design of the product.
Sunil says that with each iteration of Eyva, he was drawn to the design elements of the Mercedes Vision AVTR car. “I wanted the product to invoke admiration in people. The idea was to instill a sense of pride in the owner. People should be scared to get their hands off the device, and not on the device,” he adds.
Yet another interesting element are the sensors on the surface of the product. “These are elements that make Eyva come to life. Whenever a person touches it, it starts to calculate their respiration rate. Then the device breathes exactly like the user — it mirrors them.”
This element makes it a bionic device. So when the battery is running low, the sensors start to turn red, and the device breathes heavily. “These design elements make Eyva an experience,” he says.
Eyva is easy to carry around in one’s pocket, Sunil says. No wires or cables are needed to work the device. “There is a lot of precision engineering that has gone into making this product,” he notes.
Going Beyond Statistics
“We use around nine sensors to be able to accurately understand the glucose molecules inside your body,” Sunil explains. “Users need to place their fingers on the designated area on the device, and wait for 60 seconds to measure their blood glucose levels. The data is then analysed using AI, and the results are displayed on your smartphone app.”
Sunil also claims that the data is reliable, with 90 per cent accuracy. “Unlike other wearable devices in the market, Eyva can be used by up to four different profiles,” he adds. “Other than monitoring blood glucose levels, it can also be used to measure ECG, heart rate, stress levels, water intake levels and detect blood oxygen levels.”
The app has been inspired by the movie Avatar (2009). Sunil says, “We sat with fictional story writers and gaming designers to work on a storyline for the app. We wanted the app to reflect the beauty of the device.”
While the technology that Eyva uses was ready one and a half years ago, putting the device and the app together took another one year.
“Without wanting to scare the user with too many data points, what we have developed gives the user an overview of their health parameters. The app gives you a quick snapshot of how you are doing, without necessarily throwing numbers and data points at you,” he explains.
Based on one’s health parameters, the app suggests simple tasks to be performed. These can include simple things like including more water in your diet, a quick 20-minute brisk walk, or even a good night’s rest.
Sunil says that he wanted to break free from the chalta hai (it’s fine) attitude and design something world class. He says the initial plan of the company is to manufacture around 1,200 units in the first quarter. “Based on user feedback and demand, we will look to increase production,” he says.
Priced upwards of Rs 15,000, the device can be pre-ordered for a March release.
BlueSemi was seed funded and recently received an investment of $69 million dollars from a New York-based investment fund. While the device is made for those who are currently diabetic or suffer from other lifestyle disorders, anyone above the age group of 25 up to 70 can use it, Sunil says. In the month of May 2022, one will be able to buy the device via the company website.
Of his entrepreneurial journey so far, Sunil says, “It’s like a roller coaster ride. There will be ups and downs every single day, but isn’t this the fun that we have signed up for?” he says.
To know more or find out details about pre-ordering the device, click here.
Source: IDF website.
(Edited by Divya Sethu)