A pioneering Welsh company has secured a prestigious award in its home country for developing a revolutionary diabetes device of global significance.
Forward-thinking Afon Technology has been awarded a prestigious Wales STEM Award for the creation of the world’s first non-invasive wearable blood glucose sensor.
The Innovation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Award underscores the profound impact of its pioneering technology in the realm of diabetes management and heralds a new era in accessible and non-intrusive health monitoring.
In a significant stride toward revolutionising diabetes care, the pain-free continuous blood glucose sensor is set to make life easier for people with diabetes by removing the need for needles when monitoring blood sugar levels.
The highly respected accolade was presented to the Monmouthshire-based tech firm on Friday, October 13, during the 2023 Wales STEM Awards ceremony in Cardiff.
The Innovation in STEM Award recognises a company in Wales that has created and developed innovative products and processes that have impacted the performance of the organisation.
In addition, the Innovation in STEM Award is usually awarded to an organisation that shows a clear commitment to research and development, continued innovation and future growth potential.
Sabih Chaudhry, CEO for Afon Technology, said: “I am incredibly proud of the entire Afon Technology team for receiving the Innovation in STEM Award.
“Our mission has always been to push the boundaries of what’s possible in healthcare technology, and winning this award is a testament to our dedication.”
He added: “It means a lot to get this recognition in our home nation for something which will have global significance.
“This recognition motivates us to continue our journey, addressing diversity gaps, and inspiring the next generation to dream big and reach for the stars in the world of science and technology.”
The Wales STEM Awards returned for the third time to shine a spotlight on the organisations and individuals raising the profile of STEM in Wales.
The awards once again celebrated organisations and individuals leading the sector in Wales, including those creating an impact on the Welsh economy, those addressing the STEM diversity gap and skills shortage, and those inspiring and raising the aspirations of the next generation.
The Wales STEM Awards was jointly organised by Grapevine Event Management and communications agency jamjar and was sponsored by Cardiff Metropolitan University, the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult, Cardiff Medicentre, XMA Ltd and Business News Wales.
Head judge Dr Louise Bright, founder of the Wales Women in STEM network, said: “Afon Technology impressed the judges with its clarity of purpose and determination to address a complex challenge that many others are trying to tackle.
“They are a small team, that have a proven track record and they thoroughly achieve to be recognised for their innovation.”
She added: “The calibre of the businesses and individuals shortlisted for the awards was second to none and I’d like to congratulate all finalists.
“The awards show that the future of the STEM sector in Wales is bright and we look forward to the industry going from strength to strength.”
Co-Founder of Wales STEM Awards, Liz Brookes, Director of Grapevine Event Management said: “It has once again been incredible shining a spotlight on the STEM sector in Wales. Our winners are pushing the boundaries of STEM innovation and helping address the diversity gap and skills shortage that exists.
“These organisations and individuals are an inspiration to our country and our next generation. I would like to offer a huge congratulations to all of the winners and to all of those shortlisted. Your work is incredibly important, and we thank you for your contributions to STEM in Wales.”
Matthew Taylor, Director of Innovation at Cardiff Metropolitan University, said: “Cardiff Metropolitan University is once again proud to be associated with the Wales STEM Awards and support the talented and ambitious people that these awards celebrate.
“Congratulations to all the winners and finalists, who collectively demonstrate the strengths of the STEM sector in Wales.”
Afon Technology’s non-invasive continuous blood glucose monitoring sensor is worn on the inside of the wrist with or without a watch, and it feeds back to the user’s chosen smart device to display blood glucose data.
Unlike the current continuous glucose monitoring devices, it will measure blood glucose levels in real-time without the need to penetrate the skin at all, making it easier to manage the condition, reducing the risk of diabetes-related complications such as heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and limb amputations.
Companies such as Apple, Samsung and Google are rumoured to have been trying to develop non-invasive blood glucose monitoring, but so far none have been successful. Afon Technology hopes to win the race to this important milestone.
Preliminary clinical research gives people with diabetes hope that such a device could become a reality in the near future.