Diabetes is a rapidly growing problem in New Zealand, with rising levels of obesity, pre-diabetes and both type 1 and type 2 cases. A $15,000 Health Innovation Award has been presented in New Zealand to the developers of a spinning cardboard wheel that is helping to revolutionise the care of stress-induced diabetes.
The health wheel, entitled the Specialised Relative Insulin Nutrition Tables System (SPRINT), functions to tell nurses quickly and effectively how much insulin is being distributed to a patient, taking into account factors such as their body size and their latest blood-sugar readings.
The device, according to one of its developers at Christchurch Hospital, has already helped to lower the death rate amongst several patients. He claims that over the course of the year the device could help to save as many as 150 lives, and approximately $3 million if it was taken up for nationwide use.
The Health Awards included several other exciting new projects and developments. The Waitemata District Health Board was provided an award for new guidelines showing schools the healthiest drinks to be stocked for pupil use. Furthermore, a screening project at Christchurch Women’s Prison that identified prisoners needing mental health treatment won an award.

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