Weavers in Bangalore, India, aren't just making artistic products these days–they're weaving to save lives. A medical diagnostics company called Achira Labs has integrated weaving into the medical world by crafting diabetes test strips from silk using a simple wooden handloom. In contrast to paper or plastic, which have traditionally been used for test strips, silk strips are easier and more inexpensive to manufacture thanks to readily available resources in India, which has the second highest number of diabetes cases in the world. And they work the same way–to check blood sugar levels, a diabetic person simply pricks his or her fingertip, dabs some blood onto the test strip and then feeds it into a glucose reader.
An added bonus? It's not just diabetics who will benefit from this new innovation-weavers throughout India are finding that crafting silk strips is a great way to make a living. Achira aims to team up with women weavers in need of employment to open five weaving hubs in rural and suburban communities that are especially exposed to diabetes. Improving lives while stimulating the Indian economy seems to us like an awesome goal!