BACKGROUND: The goal of this brief letter is to introduce you to a remarkable medical product with the ability to transform the world of diabetes testing, significantly reducing the staggering costs of managing this chronic condition. It began with the journey of one man, ten years ago, who changed my life, and became the “everyman” to all those who suffer from this potentially debilitating, deadly disease.
I’ve been a biomedical engineer for 40 years, holding patents on the variable rate cardiac pacemaker, heart-lung machine, and many medical devices still in use today in hospitals around the world. In early 2006, a friend, with Type 2 diabetes, called to say he was at his “wit’s end” with the pain of lancing his fingertips, and begged me to help. “I’m just not testing,” he said, “even though I know the consequences. There has to be something you can do!” I was moved by his distress, compelled by our friendship, and undone by the irresistible siren song that lies at the heart of every engineering challenge. The gauntlet was thrown, and I made a promise that was to consume me for the next ten years of my life, analyzing the interconnection between blood capillaries and pain nerves, limitations of current devices, and existing technologies that could bring painless lancing to reality.
I kept refining my initial contraptions and cutting costs, until Genteel finally evolved into the precision instrument it is today, with the ability to optimize blood draw with absolutely no discomfort. This technology resulted in 6 US patents, and over 22 international patents, both issued and pending. I finally had the confidence to set up Genteel LLC, now a reality, and my friend, who started the ball rolling 10 years ago, could not have envisioned that his private pain would lead to a life-changing product that can now benefit countless others who have also walked in his footsteps.
PATIENT CONSIDERATIONS: The positive feedback Genteel has received has been both inspiring and overwhelming, as those with diabetes began to incorporate their new lancing device into their daily lives. Folks whose livelihood depended on tactile sensation could start to feel their fingers again; mothers could now test their children without the daily battles they had become used to, especially at night, and story after story of people, young and old, who “gritted their teeth”, or just avoided testing, now comfortably sampling throughout the day on both fingers and alternate sites, because it no longer hurt, seeing their numbers, and health, improve as a result.
Over 82% of those we surveyed said they experienced an improvement in satisfaction with their blood drawing experience.
REGULATORY CONSIDERATIONS: We have earned our FDA Clearance, and are the first, and only, stand-alone painless lancing device FDA cleared for both fingers and alternate site testing! Our CE Mark has also been granted, making Genteel available for sale worldwide!