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There's no doubt that living with diabetes as a kid must take something away from a potentially carefree experience of childhood. The Blood Buddy cannot make young ones well, but it can turn routine home health checks into a bit of a game.

Hannah Warren has developed a fully equipped blood glucose meter in the form of a toy. It takes the appearance of a whimsical blue monster with stubby legs, no arms, googly eyes and a broad set of big white teeth. A small digital screen embedded into its belly displays the user's reading and several buttons allow him to scroll through the device's functions. It's the great hinged jaw of the Blood Buddy that incorporates the playful aspect, concealing a finger prick that might slightly distract and engage a child.