COEUR d'ALENE - A 10-year-old Coeur d'Alene boy's desire to make life easier for others like himself, people who are living with type 1 diabetes, has turned him into something else - a multiple award-winning inventor.
Carson Magee, a fourth-grade student at Ramsey Magnet School of Science, won his second consecutive Best of Show award for grades 1-4 at the Invent Idaho State Finals last weekend at the University of Idaho in Moscow. He also won the I Cubed Challenge award which recognizes innovation in the medical field.
Like the invention that won him a top prize in 2012, Carson's latest creation is designed to make personal blood glucose testing a less cumbersome task, especially if you're a kid who has to "poke" himself 10 times a day. For this purpose, Carson carries a small black test kit with him wherever he goes.
"At school, when I go out to recess, it usually falls off me when I run around," Carson said. "So, I thought of putting it into a watch."
From that thought, emerged the B-G Smart Watch, a combination blood glucose meter, test strip case and lancet device, the so-called "poker." The digital watch display is replaced with a screen attached to an electronic meter.
It also includes a game app based on the user's blood glucose readings.
"You could plug your meter into your iPod and download your blood sugars. If your range is normal, it gives you points. Those points would unlock doors," Carson said.
The game, in addition to being fun, would be motivation for diabetics to eat, exercise and manage their insulin properly, so their blood sugar readings are within range, about 70 to 120.
"That's what doctors want, and usually they (diabetes patients) want that too," Carson said.
It doesn't feel so good, he said, when his blood sugar level drops too much and he has to drink a juice to get it back up.
Carson's 2012 invention was a portable blood glucose testing device with a built-in alcohol swab to swipe the user's finger prior to pricking it for a specimen. That idea earned him a spot last year on a Nickelodeon television show, "Figure it Out."
He also served as the youth ambassador for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Inland Northwest Walk to Cure Diabetes last September.
During the Invent Idaho state finals last weekend, Idaho Sen. John Goedde read a resolution passed by state legislators last week in Boise. The resolution calls for an Invent Idaho Day to be held in the state capitol, with inventions on display. It also includes Carson Magee's name and some of his recent accomplishments.
This year, he plans to head to Washington, D.C., as the Idaho delegate for the JDRF's Children's Congress.
Carson's mother, Fondra Magee, said that her son has become an advocate, lobbying for research dollars.
"It's given him a platform," she said. "We feel very honored."
Carson plans to keep inventing, and hopes to one day find a cure for the disease.
"I want to inspire other kids to invent too," he said.