An exceptional EYE-dea

Shahid Haider.

Alex Wong and Shahid Haider. Original photo from Waterloo Stories. 

It's difficult for Shahid Haider to watch his younger brother prick his finger every day. For people with type 1 diabetes, this is a painful reality when it comes to regularly testing their glucose levels. 

Now completing his MASc in Systems Design, Shahid has been researching other alternatives to measure glucose levels, with plans to create a device that takes pictures of the eye to determine blood glucose concentration - a painless and non-invasive method.

Shahid was recently acknowledged for his efforts, receiving the Norman Edmund Inspiration Award. The award recognizes exceptional research that inspires others to develop new devices to advance medical sciences and cure illnesses that they may face throughout their lives. Along with the award, he took home $5,000 to go towards his research.

I felt quite elated when I got the call that I won the award. Since I started my MASc, I have been interested in developing ways to assist my little brother in his glucose management. Receiving this award was like a gust of wind under my wings to take my ideas off the ground and pursue them in earnest. –Shahid Haider

Shahid recognizes his professors, Alexander Wong and David Clausi, who encouraged him to apply for the award. Moving forward, Shahid plans to use this project as his PhD thesis. He aspires to create a usable device for child and adult use, allowing for a painless glucose management process. Eventually, Shahid would like to start his own company to further develop and market his device.             

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