Dyson Award Winners: Glaucoma Glove and Bottle Scanner
by Jane Wakefield
A kit that allows people to test for glaucoma at home and a scanner that helps recycle plastic bottles are among the winners of the James Dyson International Award.
Usually won by just one innovative student, this year’s competition had three winners after a record number of entries.
Each receives £ 30,000 in prize money.
Sir James was pleased to see “the enthusiasm with which young people face the problems of the world”.
“Trading an idea is very difficult and I hope the awareness of the award, as well as the financial support it provides, will give these ideas a stepping stone to success,” he said.
The international award-winning glaucoma glove was inspired by the diagnosis of inventor Kelu You, and his father, with the condition.
Together with Si Li and David Lee, of the National University of Singapore, he found a less invasive and more accessible way to monitor eye pressure.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world and half a million people in the UK alone suffer from it.
There is no cure, but if diagnosed and treated early, blindness can be prevented.
Monitoring of intraocular pressure is critical for diagnosis but requires hospital visits.
The electronic eye pressure sensor (Hopes) for the student house consists of a glove with a sensor on the tip of the finger, which must be pressed against the eyelid.
The data collected by the sensor is transmitted via Bluetooth to a phone and uploaded for remote access by doctors.
A companion app collects information and offers advice.
“For us, it all started with Kelu and his attempt to create a solution for her after the problem they faced as a family,” the team said.
“With this victory, we hope in the future that people can measure eye pressure in a pain-free home environment.”
They are also looking to apply sensor technology to other health monitoring applications.
The sustainability award, a category created this year, was won by Jerry de Vos, of TU Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands.
He invented a portable device that can tell what kind of plastic is used in products, so that it can be recycled properly rather than sent to landfill.
It uses infrared light to detect plastic components and was once again inspired by personal experience.
Mr. De Vos works for an organization that aims to reduce plastic waste and has witnessed firsthand the problems when plastic is sorted incorrectly.
In much of the world, it is handmade, which is time consuming and error prone.
About 40 percent of plastic waste was sent to landfill, 25 percent incinerated, 19 percent dumped, and just 16 percent recycled, De Vos said.
And he would use the cash prize to “speed up the development process of both the electronics and the software side of the invention.”
Sir James described it as a “potentially significant technology”.
The third prize went to Joseph Bentley, 22, of Loughborough University, whose rapid emergency tamponade device (React) – designed to prevent blood loss from stab wounds by inflating a silicone balloon – had already won the James UK Dyson Award in August.
Two of Mr. Bentley’s friends had been stabbed in London, none of them fatally, but the incidents inspired him to find the solution.
Sir James said: “Developing a medical device is very challenging and there will be no end to the obstacles, but I urge Joseph not to be put off, since the opportunity to save lives is so great.”
The device to stem blood loss from the stab wound wins the prize
- 25 August
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