Dr. William Petit is a partner in a company that’s developing a new device for testing diabetes.
Petit is one of four principals in Quick LLC, a Farmington-based company that announced Thursday the start of a fundraising campaign to raise money for developing a prototype of the device and testing it.
Petit said he got involved with the company because it’s an opportunity to be involved with something that could solve the long-discussed problem of how to make it easier to measure glucose levels in diabetes patients. He is friends with Scott Fox, the president and CEO of the company.
“Over the course of a number of rounds of golf, he told me about what was going on,” Petit said.
David Mucci and Ron Clark, both doctors at the Hospital of Central Connecticut who developed the device, demonstrated it to Petit.
Instead of using a finger prick to test blood, the device measures glucose levels in saliva. It’s easier and less painful, Petit said, especially for people who need to test themselves several times each day. Some people don’t test themselves as often as they should, Petit said, because of the pain and inconvenience.
“It’s a fascinating idea and I give credit to Dave Mucci and Ron Clark,” he said in a telephone interview. “People have been looking for ways to measure glucose levels for some time.”
The device also connects to smartphones so that parents can track their children’s tests.
A former medical director of the Joslin Diabetes Center at the Hospital of Central Connecticut, Petit hasn’t practiced medicine since 2007, when his wife and two daughters were killed in a brutal attack in their home. Since that ordeal, he has worked for the Petit Family Foundation, which has raised and donated more than $1 million to causes that match the interests of his wife and daughters.
He has also advocated for reforming the state’s death penalty law and has served with the Hartford County Medical Association and the Connecticut State Medical Society.
The new device, called the iQuickIt Saliva Analyzer, has been in development for about 18 months, Fox said. The company hopes to raise $100,000 over the next two months on the crowdsourcing website Indiegogo.com, which allows people to raise money for specific goals with contributions from many people.
Fox, Mucci and Clark are the founders of the company. They brought Petit onto the management team to serve as the diabetes advisor. Among other tasks, he’ll oversee the clinical trials when the device gets to that stage.
In a best-case scenario, Fox said, the device could be on the market in about two years.
Petit made news earlier this month when he confirmed that he was considering running for Congress. Petit said Thursday he was still considering a run for the Republican candidacy in the 5th District, and is weighing the time it requires to other commitments, including the foundation, his work with Quick LLC and the fact that he and his new wife are expecting a baby in six weeks.