We were inspired to create Injecusline due to the high risk of self medication with diabetic patients. Often diabetic patients treat themselves with a daily dosage of insulin. Due to the nature of the drug, even a dose slightly over the prescribed amount could result in a life-threatening situation. We wanted to eliminate this problem by developing a highly accurate syringe that was controlled by a motor to make sure that patients only take the prescribed dosage when self medicating. Along with this, many accurate or automatic insulin pens are costly making it less accessible to third world countries.
What it does
Injecusline is a motorized syringe controlled by a mobile device via bluetooth connection. The coherent mobile application uses software to customize the user experience for every patient and calculates a suggested dosage of insulin using an algorithm based on personal inputs. All patient information is secure with a login authentication feature. Upon creating an account, the user will receive a verification email in order to be added to the list of authenticated users. All important patient information in the app is also safely stored in a database for future evaluations by doctors and the software itself.
How we built it
Injecusline was built mainly by a 3D printer. The device itself was designed in Autodesk Inventor to ensure a compact and secure design optimized for the user experience. 3D printing allowed us to easily make adjustments to the design of Injecusline and guaranteed a low cost product. This makes Injecusline something that is accessible to everyone, including those who do not necessarily have the means to heavily invest in an insulin pen that serves the same purpose as Injecusline.
Challenges we ran into
Throughout this project we ran into a variety of both software and hardware related problems. When developing our mobile application in Android Studio, we wanted to incorporate Google's Firebase platform in order to add secure authentication for patients because their data would also be stored on Firebase's database. Incorporating Firebase caused some problems with the Build.Gradle portion of the application. Many of these bugs took 2+ hours to debug but after fixing these issues, Firebase was seamlessly installed. The biggest problem that our team faced was with the on board power. Injecusline is an Arduino based wireless device, because of this the power used to power the Arduino is on board. The major problem we had with this was that we had to create our own 6 volt battery as Arduino requires a power between 5 volts and 12 volts. This became a problem as we had loose connections with our series of batteries and our original 3D printed battery housing did not securely hold the batteries in place. We were able to redesign the battery housing but only after we had spent time trying varies methods to keep the batteries connected.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Our biggest accomplishment was designing, assembling, and programming a device that has the potential to change the our world in only 24 hours. At hackathons participants tend to focus on purely software projects and don't tend to take big risks where there is no turning back. The difference between a hardware based project and a software based project is the opportunities you have to fix your mistakes. In a software project you can click the run button as many times as you want always testing and making adjustments; in a hardware project one mistake could cost you your whole project and all the hardware you brought with you. Even though we were successful in making our device what we truly are most proud of is taking the risk of doing a hardware project where there is a very high chance of failure.
What we learned
When working on Injecsulin, we learned a lot on both the software and hardware sides. Although we have used Android Studio and java in the past, making a mobile application with Google Firebase was new. We ran into many problems and we constantly talked about how next time making a mobile application with Firebase would be so much easier. Going to a hackathon is a unique experience where you are essentially forced to learn new things for 24 hours. We know as a group that we would not have learned as much as we did about Firebase, Bluetooth serial communication code, and other new software endeavors. On the hardware end of things, we learned how to rapid prototype and design for 3D printing specifically. Along with this, we familiarized ourselves with Arduino Nano and a Bluetooth Module and how we can use the two together as this is our first time working with both of those pieces of hardware.
What's next for Injecusline
Some big next steps we are already looking into are incorporating a system where the patient can directly message the doctor through the mobile app and vice versa. This connection will also allow doctors to readily access patient information stored in the data base. On top of that, the doctor will be able to control insulin dosage levels if need be from a remote location. We created this application in Android studio because most of the world uses android to cellphones due to the lack of infrastructure for land line phones. This is why we specially targeted an Android app for this hackathon. In the future we plan on expanding to IOS and swift. This will allow Injecsulin to grow as a medical device to more people outside of our accessible community