High-res handheld imager for diabetes testing wins award from Edmund Optics

Optical components maker Edmund Optics has awarded Shahid Haider of the University of Waterloo in Canada, who developed a medical device that eases diabetes monitoring in children, with its 2014 Norman Edmund Inspiration Award.

Optical components maker Edmund Optics (Barrington, NJ) has awarded Shahid Haider of the University of Waterloo in Canada, who developed a medical device that eases diabetes monitoring in children, with its 2014 Norman Edmund Inspiration Award. With this award win, Haider will receive $5000 worth of the company's products to further his research.

The medical device that Haider developed is a non-contact, handheld imaging system that simultaneously captures multiple polarization states of the eye to infer a patient's blood glucose concentration. Typically, Type 1 diabetics have to prick their finger to get an estimate of blood glucose levels—for many children, this process is not only inconvenient but painful. By eliminating any pain associated with diabetes testing, this device has the direct potential to improve the quality of life for those afflicted with diabetes, including reducing the risk of eye, kidney, and heart damage.

Polarized light has been proven to be able to infer blood glucose level in research with a high degree of accuracy since the early 1990s. The extraordinary part of this project is the development of a simultaneous method of polarization state image capture. Previously, to capture multiple polarization states, filters had to be exchanged and the capture had to be sequential, but through the use of filter assemblies, corrective optics, and manipulating optics, simultaneous capture is possible. Coupled with a high-resolution detector, the images can be captured on a single detector allowing for a compact design to fit the hands of a child. With this non-contact method for inference, there is little chance to cause discomfort to the user.

The Norman Edmund Inspiration Award honors the contributions made by Norman Edmund to advance the science of optics. The recipient of the award is chosen from among the 45 global finalists in the Americas, Europe, and Asia, who best embodies the legacy of Edmund.

To learn more about Haider and the company's Educational Award recipients, please visit www.edmundoptics.com/award.

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