Diabetes – Design Agency Accepts The Challenge To Create A Stylish Diabetic Insulin Pump


As a type 1 diabetic you probably rely on various pieces of diabetes management equipment to control your condition. You are eternally grateful to people that invented the portable blood glucose monitor and insulin pump, which allows you to lead a normal life. Surely the freedom to take the gadgets that keep you alive with you wherever you go is a precious gift. So, is it ungrateful of us to wish that those gadgets were a little more stylish, a little less bulky and a little bit simpler to use?

Amy Tenderich is one type 1 diabetic that doesn’t think so. The author of the blog, diabetesmine.com, Amy is sick of being asked why she is wearing a pager, or being asked to switch of her cell phone when her monitor starts its unexplained bleeping. With the recent advances in technology that enable us to listen to music, take photos, surf the internet and hold conversations on gadgets not much bigger than a credit card, she doesn’t believe that medical equipment needs to be so chunky.

As Amy wrote in her blog; “It occurred to me that this is never going to change unless we call on the Gods of Consumer Design to champion our cause.” Her solution? To use her blog to publish an open letter to Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, challenging him to design sleeker more efficient diabetes management equipment, along the lines of the popular iPod.

In her invitation she wrote: “Whether blood glucose monitor or insulin pump, thanks to the achievements of medical device companies, we can now live a normal life by constantly monitoring and adjusting our blood sugar levels. But have you seen these things? They make a Philips GoGear Jukebox HDD1630 MP3 Player look pretty! And it’s not only that: most of these devices are clunky, make weird alarm sounds, are more or less hard to use, and burn quickly through batteries. In other words: their design doesn’t hold a candle to the iPod.”

Although this invitation was not answered by the co-founder of Apple himself, the challenge was taken up by San Francisco-based design agency Adaptive Path. They have put together a team to look into the practical issues of living with diabetes, and the frustration that diabetics face when using the medical equipment they rely on. The resulting product is the Charmr, a prototype for a blood glucose monitor that resembles the iPod nano, and a new insulin pump that can be worn discreetly under a skin-coloured patch.

These devices are not yet in production, or available for sale, but with the design phase complete, there is hope that they soon will be. With the support of campaigns like JDRF’s Artificial Pancreas Project, we can hope that sporting a blood glucose monitor can soon be as much of a fashion statement as sporting the latest MP3 player

Lisa Janse is an experienced author, whose research and writing focuses on health related subjects. For further facts about living with diabetes, specifically Diabetes Medicine and Diabetes Diets visit http://www.sugardiabetes.net

Author: Lisa Janse
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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