agrawalGaurav Agrawal and Angelin Ponraj

Original story from Tyler Greer, UAB News

Christlin Ponraj, graduate student in biotechnology, and Angelin Ponraj, sophomore in biomedical sciences, both from Atlanta, along with Gaurav Agrawal, junior in biomedical engineering from Mobile, are seeking a simple, private way to alert Alabama residents about their risk for diabetes.

Their Integrated Latrine Technology for Early Disease Detection project will use a color indication change in toilet water to make users aware of a potential diabetes diagnosis and the need to seek further testing and treatment.

“We hope that this affordable, easy-to-use device will also allow us to advocate for the benefits of preventive medicine,” Angelin Ponraj said. “This project has the potential to expand to other states in the U.S. as well as other nations, promoting health awareness and greater longevity globally.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 18.8 million Americans were diagnosed with diabetes in 2010. “Southern states have the highest percentage of diagnosed cases, making them essential targets for preventive and early detection diabetic care,” Agrawal said.

The integrated latrine technology allows users to become aware of their diabetes diagnosis at an early stage, “prompting users to visit a nearby clinic for further testing and treatment,” Christlin Ponraj said.

The group hopes to expand the technology to detect sexually transmitted diseases and even various types of cancers in the near future.

Read about more innovative, student-led projects selected for this year’s Clinton Global Initiative University.