Meeting the tiniBoy Lancet Inventor in Korea
Stanley Kim is a practicing physician in Southern California who recently invented the smallest and painless lancets for testing our blood glucose. I wrote about this invention here this August.
At that time Dr. Kim and I hadn't met. I interviewed him on the phone from my home office in Colorado.
We had to travel all the way to South Korea to meet in person. We are in Busan, Korea's second largest city with about 3.6 million residents. Specifically, we are both attending the International Diabetes Federation's Western Pacific Region Congress along with about 3,000 other people who work with diabetes. This congress is taking place in Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO) in the most modern part of the city near Haeundae, the most famous and frequented beach in all of South Korea.
As modern as Korea is -- particularly in this part of the country -- it is naturally quite different from what I normally experience in Colorado. But for Dr. Kim, Busan is quite familiar. He grew up in Busan and has a condo here.
Until I mentioned the meeting during the course of the interview for the article I wrote here in August, Dr. Kim didn't know that it was happening in his hometown this year. He then arranged to attend the meeting. And at the last minute the conference organizers approved his poster presentation for the tiniBoy lancets.
While his poster was among the several hundred presented in the huge conference hall, it was the one that interested me the most. I made a point to visit his poster presentation.
His poster, "A Pain-Free Lancet with a Small Needle for Blood Glucose Monitoring," concluded that the "average pain level from the new lancet is significantly lower than that from old style lancets." I had reached the same conclusion after Dr. Kim sent me a box of 100 of his lancets. I shared them with the members of my diabetes support group, and they all agreed.
Dr. Stanley Kim (left), at his tiniBoy Poster with Hyung Joon Kim of Sogang University
Amazon.com sells a box of 100 tiniBoy lancets for $12.95. These lancets are extremely tiny -- 36 gauge. They fit in all lancing devices except the Softclix and Multiclix.
In person, Dr. Kim is a gentle doctor who has the caring bedside manner that so many physicians seem to have lost. I'm sure that this is important in his specialties, which include what I have always though would be the most difficult one for a doctor to practice, dealing with victims of cancer. In Dr. Kim's practice of hematology, oncology, and internal medicine he has to console many families who have lost their loved ones to cancer.
At the same time, Dr. Kim is a member of the board of trustees of the Upland, California, hospital, in the same city where I lived from the ages of one to eight and the very hospital where my sister was born. He is also chief of medicine at the hospital.
As busy as he already is, Dr. Kim has a dream of creating a charity hospital for homeless people in Southern California. He has such drive and dedication that I am sure that he will succeed in implementing his dream.
About three years ago Dr. Kim discovered that he himself has type 2 diabetes. Like all of us, he didn't like the pain that we have to go through when testing our blood glucose. But he also works with babies and couldn't accept their cries when we subjected them to the pain of the large old-style lancets.
Those were the driving factors that led Dr. Kim to invent the tiniBoy lancets. At this time we have nothing like them. Until earlier this year the Pelikan Sun device was the best one available. Sadly, however, it was very expensive -- the device cost almost $300. But even worse is the fact that the company has gone out of business and sources of the Pelikan Sun lancing device or its lancets no longer exist.
Now, however, thanks to one dedicated doctor named Stanley Kim we have a much better way to test our blood glucose.