UGM students develop peripheral neuropathy detector for diabetics

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Ilham Fazri and Regita Rahma Maharatri win a gold medal at ISTEC 2020. (Photo: UGM. Doc)

IO, Yogyakarta – Students of the University of Gadjah Mada (UGM) Yogyakarta have won a gold medal at the 2020 International Science Technology and Engineering Competition (ISTEC) which was held at Graha Manggala Siliwangi, Bandung, mid-January. ISTEC is an international competition in science, technology, and engineering, participated in by 338 participants, divided into 174 teams from 14 countries. 

In the competition organized by the Bandung Creative Society in collaboration with the Indonesian Young Scientist Association, the UGM team, consisting of Regita Rahma Maharatri (Nursing Sciences FK-KMK) and Ilham Fazri (Elins FMIPA) won the gold medal in the technology category. “We propose innovation in the form of a Smart Portable Peripheral Neuropathy Diabetics Screening Tool or Spherotec,” Regita told UGM Public Relations, Monday (1/27/2020). 

Regita said Spherotec is a prototype of a portable device composed of various sensors and connected to a smartphone. The main function of this tool is for early detection of peripheral neuropathy with diabetes mellitus. Furthermore, the risk level will be classified from 0-3, according to International Diabetes Federation (IDF) data. 

She explained the idea of developing this device originated with concerns about the increasing number of people living with diabetes. IDF data records that there are currently 463 million people living with diabetes and it is predicted that this number will continue to increase to 51% by 2045. 

“Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy is the most common complication in diabetics. If no early examination is done, this peripheral neuropathy will develop into a foot ulcer and can lead to the necessity of lower extremity amputation,” she explained. 

This tool is expected to be an alternative solution in preventing diabetic foot ulcers that lead to amputation. It is equipped with educational features according to the risks detected. In that way, Spherotec can help raise awareness and maintain the quality of life of diabetic patients. 

“Hopefully, a simple examination can be done early using this tool. Besides, sufferers can increase awareness, so that amputation can be avoided by controlling blood sugar and exercising good foot care,” she said. (*/est)