Hail Alma Mater

Hail Alma Mater

This Saturday the college football season kicks off with a full slate of games around the country. Yes millions of alumni will gather to root on their Alma Mater and participate in some solid diabetes research by drinking some cold Miller Lite.  In the interest of staying abreast of all things diabetes Diabetic Investor will be an active participant in this research rooting on our Alma Mater the Fighting Illini of the University of Illinois. Granted the Illini aren’t a football power nor do they have much of a shot at making a bowl game but still it’s the Alma Mater.

As it turns out the good folks at the Alma Mater have been very active in some ground breaking diabetes research.  According to an article posted on the Healthcanal web site researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a continuous glucose monitor which changes colors as glucose levels fluctuate. According to the article; “The researchers developed a new continuous glucose monitoring material that changes color as glucose levels fluctuate, and the wavelength shift is so precise that doctors and patients may be able to use it for automatic insulin dosing  – something now possible using current point measurements like test strips.”

The article goes onto to state;

“There are significant limitations to current continuous glucose monitoring technologies,” said study leader Paul Braun, a professor of materials science and engineering at the U. of I. “The systems available today all have some combination of limited sensitivity, limited precision and frequent recalibration. Using today’s systems, you can determine trends in glucose levels, but without frequent recalibration, you don’t have the accuracy or reliability to use that to make insulin dosing decisions or to drive autonomous dosing.”

Now Diabetic Investor would never speak ill of the Fighting Illini and actually see a method to their madness. Given that the market for CGM systems is becoming more competitive by the day why not spruce things up a little by offering alumni the ability to monitor their glucose levels using the colors of their Alma Mater. Think of it alumni from Illinois would see levels fluctuate in orange and blue, Michigan alumni maze and blue, Wisconsin red and white, Northwestern purple and white, etc.

What’s even better about this twist to glucose monitoring is that it’s not limited to the Big Ten, which now actually consists of 14 schools including geographically challenged Rutgers and Maryland.  Think of it each conference from the all-powerful Southeastern Conference to the numerically correct Pac-12 can market this whiz bang feature to their alumni with diabetes. Yes we can see it now, looking for even more revenue streams universities across the country partnering with Dexcom (NASDAQ:DXCM) or Medtronic (NYSE:MDT).

But why stop there, why not take this technology and apply it to a conventional blood glucose monitor. Listen with the conventional BGM market approaching complete chaos and in desperate need of something, anything to prevent a complete collapse this could be, excuse the play on words here, just the shot in the arm LifeScan, Roche, Abbott (NYSE:ABT) and Bayer need to get back in the game. Think of the marketing possibilities, not only could the readings come in the colors of the patients Alma Mater but meters could come adorned with university mascots. Honestly Diabetic Investor gets goose bumps just thinking about owning  a meter adorned with our beloved Chief Illiniwek.

Not to be out done this zest for innovation and additional revenue could soon spread to the NFL, NHL and NBA. Think of the millions of Chicago Bears fans who would love nothing better than to own a meter in the colors of their beloved Bears. Or what about a meter adorned with the best emblem in sports but the Chicago Blackhawks Indian Head.

Who would have thought that the University of Illinois this respected bastion of higher learning and our Alma Mater would develop a system that would save the BGM market.  Honestly Diabetic Investor couldn’t be prouder. This ground breaking research almost wants us to go back to another Illini institution, Kam’s home of the drinking Illini and perform some serious diabetes research.  Hail Alma Mater…..