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With initial human trials completed, IRISense moves closer to the market

For more than 26 million Americans and 370 million people around the world afflicted with diabetes, daily finger pricks to measure blood-glucose levels could soon be a thing of the past.

IRISense, LLC, a company with support from Innovation Enterprises at The University of Toledo (UT), is continuing to develop its technology that will ultimately enable people to use a smart phone camera to scan their eye and determine blood sugar (glucose) levels.

“We have completed our first round of human testing and have received very encouraging results,” said IRISense CEO Brent Cousino. A second round of human testing is in the planning phase. “The smartphone app that we are developing is just one segment of this new blood glucose monitoring system that will save individuals and insurers thousands of dollars a year due to increased monitoring compliance.”

With doctors recommending three to eight finger pricks each day, patients can spend $2,500 or more annually on testing supplies. Because of those costs and other issues associated with finger pricks, as many as 70 percent of patients do not fully comply with monitoring as recommended by their physicians.

According to Cousino and Dr. Brent Cameron, IRISense inventor and a professor of bioengineering at UT, the algorithm that IRISense has developed is currently at an 85 percent accuracy level. This means that 85 percent of the time the blood glucose level as measured by the IRISense scan falls within an established range for blood monitoring. Commercially available continuous glucose monitor (CGM) performance is only accurate about 70 percent of the time.

“Ultimately our aim is to get as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible,” Cousino said, “but since we are already at 85 percent, we are optimistic that accuracy approaching 100 percent is possible.”

The next hurdle for IRISense is to complete the development of an automated process that will select the best image data for use in its algorithm. That automation should significantly improve the IRISense blood glucose level testing results.

In addition, the IRISense team has been working to understand the future of the market for blood glucose testing. Cousino said the firm has developed a revenue model for a market of $3.5 billion in the United States alone. Further, IRISense will collect all the data from the eye scans which will be of great benefit to the user, physicians, insurers, and public health officials.

“Our office is very glad Dr. Cameron recognized his invention might be used one day to improve the human condition,” said Stephen Snider, associate vice president for technology transfer and associate general counsel. “We hope this technology will be used in the future so individuals who suffer from diabetes will no longer have to prick their finger in order to measure their glucose level.”

For more information about IRISense, visit or contact Cousino at

is UT's Director of University Communications. Contact her at 419.530.2410 or
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