PolyU strikes Deal with CareLife to Popularize Breakthrough

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The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has signed an agreement with the CareLife Healthcare Limited on 4 March and received a strong boost of HK$30 million from the company to support further research and development of its patented, award-winning "Non-Invasive Blood Glucose Meter".

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has signed an agreement with the CareLife Healthcare Limited (CareLife) today (4 March) and received a strong boost of HK$30 million from the company to support further research and development of its patented, award-winning "Non-Invasive Blood Glucose Meter". CareLife will commercialize and introduce this product to the market

Witnessed by PolyU President Professor Timothy W. Tong and Deputy President Mr Alexander Tzang, the collaborative agreement was signed by CareLife CEO Mr Eric Lee and PolyU Vice-President (Partnership Development) Dr Lui Sun-wing at a special ceremony.

Addressing the ceremony, Professor Tong said: "This breakthrough is another shining example of PolyU's commitment to pursuing knowledge and research for the benefit of mankind. This strong boost has once again testified to the support of industry and the community at large to our University."

Invented by Professor Thomas Wong and Professor Joanne Chung of the University's School of Nursing, this ground-breaking innovation not only won industry's support, but also gave rise to the forming of CareLife by a local medical equipment manufacturer to commercialize the product and promote the wider use of this technology to the community. CareLife will also reciprocate part of its revenue to support PolyU in further developing this patented technology in the future.

Mr. Mun Li, Chairman of CareLife, commented on this university-business cooperation project: "The achievements and contribution of PolyU in the aspect of scientific research have been well-recognized. The non-invasive blood glucose meter successfully developed by the university will help to improve the quality of life of the diabetic. We will do our best in promoting the new product to the market and make it accessible to more users so that it would be easier for them to cope with the chronic disease."

Unlike traditional method of collecting blood samples through syringes or finger-pricking, this new kind of Blood Glucose Meter is developed based on the principle of near-infrared technology. This invention is non-invasive in the sense that it will not make any wound or cause any pain or discomfort to human subjects. More importantly, its measurement is about 80 per cent accurate and comparable to the results from blood test.

This non-invasive device is ideal for diabetic patients who have to check their blood glucose level regularly. According to recent statistics of the World Health Organization, about 180 million people around the globe are troubled by diabetics and the figure is expected to double by the year 2030. This invention will therefore make life much easier for them.

With this strong boost from the industry, PolyU researchers will endeavour to make the Non-Invasive Blood Glucose Meter more compact and handy in response to the market demand.

PolyU researchers developed the first prototype of this Non-Invasive Blood Glucose Meter in 2007 and the debut was awarded a Gold Medal with Jury's Commendation at the 35th International, New Techniques and Products of Geneva. The University subsequently secured a US patent for this novel technology in 2008.

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Evelyn Chan

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