Dr. Chris Jacobs is a brilliant mind. As a biomedical engineer, over the last 40 years he has created some of the invaluable medical devices you still see today being used in hospitals around the world. After years of developing innovative devices for the medical and automotive world through hard work and ingenuity, Chris decided to retire with his many patented creations. He was enjoying his life of retirement, until one day a request from a friend would start Dr. Jacobs’s brilliant mind turning once again.
“Look at my fingers,” Chris’s friend pleads, a severe Type 2 diabetic. “I can’t feel them. I have to poke all the time to test blood, 5-12 times a day. Can’t you run along and develop something so that I won’t have to poke my fingers, but I can still test my blood?”
When asked why he considered taking on such an ambitious project, Chris simply explains, “Friends do things for friends.” It was then in 2006 that he went back to work to create the first ever painless lancing device for diabetic testing.
After ten years of research, Dr. Jacobs finally found a way to draw the correct amount of blood for testing though a painless extraction mechanism. He created three devices for his friend who, after using the device, shared two of the three with other friends afflicted by diabetes. They were amazed by the technology Chris had created for truly painless lancing using vacuum technology. The only problem was that the device itself was rather large and cumbersome. This presented him with a new challenge; taking this innovative device and reworking it into a simple, compact form that is easy to use.
Chris began refining his invention, reshaping the design and cutting costs, until finally he had a finished product which he called Genteel.
This idea, sparked by the drive to help others in need, had been molded into an amazing, cutting edge medical device that has changed the lives of countless diabetics across the globe.
Read more about Dr. Chris Jacobs’ journey with Genteel in his own words HERE.
What problem does your product or service solve?
Genteel’s Instagram Hashtag says it all: #GiveFingersABreak.
Genteel is the world’s only lancing device that uses vacuum and depth control technology to draw blood painlessly from anywhere on the body. Their innovative, pain-free technology allows users with diabetes to check their blood sugar anywhere on the body, giving those sore fingertips a much-needed break.
Remarkably, even pets can experience Genteel’s painless lancing system. Pet owners everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that each time they test their companion’s blood sugar levels, there is no pain or fear involved.
“I always joke with people,” Dr. Jacobs laughs, “that you have the opportunity to not experience Genteel.” Funny as it may sound, this is true because of the painless way in which the device extracts blood—a huge contrast to the ‘experience’ of a traditional lancer which is quite painful and causes unnecessary stress. You don’t have to take Dr. Jacobs’s word for it, however. There are countless reviews and videos on the Genteel website and on YouTube, of diabetics young and old whose lives have been changed by Chris’s device.
What is your business philosophy?
Genteel’s philosophy is best explained in their mission; To offer the most comfortable lancing experience required for blood testing by providing relief from discomfort and fear.
Above all else, Dr. Jacobs and the team at Genteel are dedicated to upholding core values of integrity, quality, and curiosity in all aspects of their production and client care.
“It just seems unfair in life,” Chris says, “that if there is technology available that will make something painless and more reliable, that everybody doesn’t have access to it.”
To address this issue, Genteel has worked diligently to ensure that their product is affordable, easy to use at nearly any age, and is comprised of the highest quality materials. Not only that, but Chris offers a hearty 120-day satisfaction guarantee to all who take the opportunity to try Genteel and experience the difference for themselves.
Get yours HERE.
How does your business give back to the community?
“We’ve tried to create a community around the company and what we stand for,” says Genteel CFO, Joshua Owens.
Just this past April, Genteel donated 10% of their profits to those significantly affected by COVID-19; 5% to the World Health Organization, and another 5% to Legacy Meridian Park Hospital to distribute to families in our community in need of care and supplies due to the virus.
Outside of their charitable contributions, Chris and the team at Genteel also work with Clinics, Universities, and Schools across the US to provide Genteel devices to those in need for little to no cost.
If you could say one thing to the people of Tualatin, what would it be?
“We’re all in this together,” Dr. Jacobs says heartwarmingly. “Whether you have COVID or diabetes, we’re all in this together.” Chris continues, “We all really want to work to help each other solve problems. Wherever we have an expertise and if we can help you solve your problem, let’s all do that. Let’s do the right thing and count our blessings that we can live in a society where we can buy gasoline, we can drive, we can eat, we don’t have to worry… and that wouldn’t be possible if we all didn’t have a community spirit.”
Anita Matthews, Genteel Customer Service Manager adds, “It’s all about making connections. Making connections and supporting connections.”
“All of our interactions with the businesses in Tualatin, the Chamber, the hospital… have been so supportive,” says CFO Joshua Owens. “It’s a welcoming feel, especially as a business. It’s been an engaging environment to build Genteel in, and it’s an exciting place where we’d like to continue to build the company in the future.”
Dr. Christopher Jacobs