UW-Madison grad invents medical device for diabetics

Published: Jan. 23, 2020 at 6:00 PM CST
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A recent UW-Madison graduate's injection invention is making waves in the medical field.

It’s a device designed for diabetics by Shawn Michels. He graduated from UW-Madison’s School of Business in 2018. He’s now an inventor after creating Steady Shot, a medical device that helps diabetics like himself with a common problem. "When I was first diagnosed with diabetes about eight years ago, I was taught to inject insulin in my fat tissue," said Michels, who is a Type I diabetic.

To inject insulin, a person would need one hand to compress the skin, and the other to operate the pen. "In order to inject in your fat tissue, there's five injection sites that you're supposed to inject in. Your stomach, thighs, arms, back, and butt," but Michels says the only injection sites he could really reach by himself were his stomach and thighs.

He says the first few years with diabetes, he kept injecting those same areas over and over. “I got bruising and scar tissue," he said. These symptoms are known as Lipohypertrophy. Health officials explain that's an abnormal accumulation of fat underneath the skin. It's common in people who receive multiple daily injections.

Michels says he did his research on the issue and found that 2.8 million diabetics have this condition which is caused by not rotating injection sites. That's where this invention comes in. Steady Shot is an attachment for a traditional insulin pen. The device helps diabetics safely and easily inject the medicine with just one hand. Once he knew it worked, he wanted to help others like him. "I just was really driven to get it to more injectors because of the personal impact it had on my life," he said.

Michels pitched his idea to the "Discovery to Product" program at UW- Madison. They helped him bring Steady Shot from an idea to a reality. Michels' invention received a utility patent last month. He says it is already helping people and he’s received positive feedback. Michels has launched a crowd-funding campaign at

. Steady Shot is also available