More than 400 million around the world suffer from diabetes, a disease where glucose builds up in your blood instead of being used for energy. Velocity based Medella Health believes it can help, and is building a smart contact lens that can continuously, and non-invasively, monitor blood glucose levels through a smartphone, to help you better manage your health. Today, Medella was shortlisted for the International Dyson Award, a prestigious award that celebrates, encourages, and inspires young design engineers, and is given to a team that can solve a global problem.

Medella Health is now among the top 20 engineer designs selected to compete for this international honour, and a top prize of $60,000 (two $10,000 prizes are awarded to runners up). They were selected from among 105 competitors across 22 countries in the international round of competition, which focuses on product design, industrial design, and engineering. Four other Canadian companies competed in the international round of competition, including Velocity’s Penta Medical, and Arylla. The winner of this final round competition will be announced on October 27.

Medella Health was one of the first companies to participate in the Velocity Science program, a partnership between Velocity and the Faculty of Science at the University of Waterloo. Harry Gandhi, Medella’s Co-founder and CEO, was instrumental in driving the creation of the program as a place for science students to access the lab space, mentorship, and resources to build science companies. Medella Health has since worked out of the Velocity Garage incubator in Kitchener.

Last year, Velocity’s Voltera won the International James Dyson Award, for their innovative circuit board printer. In the year prior, Suncayr was one of two International runner-ups for their nano technology based product that lets users know when to re-apply sunscreen to avoid a sunburn.