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I am designing new diabetic devices! Please reply, thank you

Discussion in 'Book and Product Reviews' started by freshwa2004, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. freshwa2004

    freshwa2004 · Newbie

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    Hi there everyone,

    I have just registered on this forum and so am new to this whole forum thing.

    I am a student currently studying product design, at the moment I am working on a project to create a better design for diabetics. I am not diabetic myself, but I am working with another student on this project who is a type 1 diabetic.
    I have called them 'diabetic devices' because we do not want to just design another monitor and insulin pen.

    Our aim is to create a stylish looking device (perhaps an all-in-one device) that comforts the user and interacts with the user very well. Our target market is between ages (15-30).
    We want the user to feel confident when using the device and so he/she does not have to hide the fact one has diabetes.
    We are looking into new technology at the moment to try to create a sucessful non-invasive monitor. I know they have been produced in the past such as the Gluco watch, but non have been successful yet? I am correct?

    We dont want to just head down one alley way and we are thinking of possibly designing something for the future when the technology is ready. (possibly a small scanner that scans foods adn sends it to the monitor) who knows yet.

    We have a few months on this project to come up with a prototype. So we want to know what everyone thinks particularly people from the ages of our target market. But if you want to have a design that stylish like an 'ipod design so you can show it about' or if you want a design that perhaps 'incorporated in your clothes'

    We just want to know what designs are good and bad and what you would like out on the market??

    Thanks very much for reading this and I look forward to hearing your ideas and responses?

    And lets see if you we can get an excellent product out on the market in a couple of years which every customer will be satisfied with.

    Thanks again

    Andrew Freshwater (student Lund University age 21)
     
  2. moonbeam

    moonbeam · Member

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    I couldn't possibly tell you my ideas/thoughts as im too old being over 30..... i must remember not to buy one when it goes on sale, will this device know my age and therfore not work on me?
    I don't think one has to hide the fact they have diabetes either, its nothing to be ashamed of.
     
  3. Patch

    Patch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Whoa - moody!

    The MOST important thing for me is that it be portable. Much smaller than an iPod. It also has to include all 3 elements of monitoring (lancets/strips/meter). This should not be difficult - the largest part of most monitors is the display. A smaller display would mean you could shrink the unit. At the moment, most meters have an LCD display. Not very cool. I'd love to see one with an LED display (red/blue, etc, etc...) Again - this would allow you to keep the unit small. keeping it small is the key. Something the size of a Zippo lighter would be perfect. (In fact, if you could just copy the design completely of a Zippo lighter, and make it from a gloss blacl plastic you'll be onto a winner!)

    You'll never be able to get it funded - but if you could design a meter that does not use test strips, you'd become a legend in the diabetic world!!!
     
  4. hanadr

    hanadr · Expert

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    Dear Andew
    what about the T2 diabetics, most of whom are over 30 and need monitoring devices too?
    The really brilliant thing would be to make something that is affordable and accurate. that's not been achieved so far. There is a belief amongt the medical establishment that T2s don't ned to monitor, so many of us fund our own supplies. In my case on a state pension. Of course if it were cost effective enough, The NHS might consider providing it.
     
  5. milly mole

    milly mole · Member

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    I'm with Hana on this one.Something cylindrical that your finger goes in.It will ,stab,sample ,collect and collate in one action.Have an easy to read display.Setting options for working out insulin dosages.Possible a download feature to download options from appropriate website to tailor it to the diabetics specific requirements.Probably not see such a thing in my lifetime however as the 'big' companies would probably snap it up and bury it so that they can keep making obscene profits from diabetics re test strips.
     
  6. Trinkwasser

    Trinkwasser · Well-Known Member

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    Yes something which is CHEAP TO RUN would probably have a chance in the market. Of course you have practically zero chance of producing such a beast because of the cost of getting it approved in all the different world markets. This would probably far outweigh development costs.
     
  7. Voilet

    Voilet · Member

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    Get real.

    The last thing that most diabetics would want is a fashion accessory that monitors blood glucose. If you want to design something that is unobtrusive it will probably need to be something that diabetics can stick up a dark orifice.
     
  8. sugarless sue

    sugarless sue · Master

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    Yes,thank you Violet for such a valuable contribution to this thread. :roll:
     
  9. Dennis

    Dennis Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Andrew,
    I can see why you would want to target the under 30 market, but 85% of diabetics are over 30!

    I think the favourite would be a test monitor that is efficient, but doesn't have to come with all the knobs, bell and whistles that some do, is cheap to manufacture, and most importantly uses test strips that are so cheap that even our penny-pinching PCTs can't say no.
     
  10. MuhammadII

    MuhammadII · Member

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    Good post Andrew.

    For me, I think portability as well as easy of use are the most important factors.

    My main problem is the size of my insulin case which can only hold three needles.

    My personal opinion is that style is the least important factor here as having such medication should not be like owning a a fashion accessory.
     
  11. chocoholic

    chocoholic · Well-Known Member

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    For me, (though I'm 51, so not in your target age group) what I'd like most, is a meter that fits SNUGLY into it's case. My present one slips out of the clear plastic wallet too easily and IMHO is badly designed. It's an efficient meter but I've lost count of the times when I've nearly dropped the meter. When readings drop and hands start to shake (especialy if you are out walking) testing leaves you all fingers and thumbs,trying to juggle getting the test strip in place, cotton wool at the ready, empty foil bit to contend with etc. etc. So a sturdier holder is what I'd place high on the list.
    I couldn't care less about it being in fancy, coloured casing or having sparkly designer bits or whatever but then I'm not in the age group you asked about. Perhaps youngsters would have a different opinion.
    Perhaps a luminous outer casing might be an idea though........if I had a pound for every time I've lost the black case in the bottom of my handbag, especialy at night, I'd be a rich woman.
     
  12. freshwa2004

    freshwa2004 · Newbie

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    Thanks very much for all your replies and responses.
    I just want to clarify and clear a few things up.
    I know that the target market is only for the younger generation (15-30), but this is what was in our brief. This does not mean to say that users outside the age group cannot use this device at all we do not want to be prejudice, It was only a guideline for our design.
    We decided this target market group because we thought this group had not been focused on as much as the ages below or above this group, by companies designing new products and putting them on the market.
    Also thats what we are trying to achieve people to be more confident, so of course diabetics should not be ashamed of it, but some diabetics do not want to show it, which is fine but we just want to make the users feel more comfortable with their device.
    The last thing is the device is also designed for type 2 users, but we will be focusing on type 1 users more.

    Thank you so much for all the comments - keep the ideas coming!!!

    Thanks again

    Andrew
     
  13. tasha

    tasha · Active Member

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    Hi Andrew,

    I think some people have misunderstood your task!

    Being in the said age group you mentioned it IS important that the design of such a device is not only accurate, useful, unobtrusive but also 'cool'. Although I am not ashamed of my diabetes, it would make life so much easier to have a device that not only measure BS level but did so without getting in the way of my everyday life. The gluco-watch even if it worked would have been an issue for most people between 15-30. Would you want to wear an unfashionable digital style watch on one arm (even if it was useful) and your usual one on the other?

    I personally would like my meter to be discrete. I wouldn't mind a device with a sensor (like the continuous monitoring meters) but rather than a pager style receiver- a more discrete one. How about a bracelet with a small screen to show your BS via wifi? Or a small 'screen' you could stick on the inside cuff of your sleeve to lift up and see? No sleeves? Stick it on another piece of clothing.

    I know for most people using the forum, this will all be a little...vain...or possibly even offensive! But I would love the chance to know my BS constantly-I know the technology already exists. To do away with another credit size piece of plastic to find a pocket for will be even better. If I had a pump aswell (yeah right! not in my PCT) then a continuous glucose monitor would be too much. I know you can get them attached to pumps nowadays but what about the people on MDI? Too much to ask?

    Tasha
     
  14. cyb3rminx

    cyb3rminx · Active Member

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    i would like to see a more compact insulin pen and i think the idea of a meter that you can put your finger in and it will do everything is brill
     
  15. martinsoton

    martinsoton · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Everyone

    I am 26 and a young professional. I completely understand there are diabetics that dont want people to know about there condition, and i completly understand.

    I dont advertise the fact but i am not too bothered about people knowing, i have a diabetes uk bag for life i use when shopping.

    I am an executive (take the Mickey if you want, i am a bit of a plonker in a suit), i do my stylish and fashionable items that incorporate my diabetes, my favourite item is my diabetic desang insulin case http://www.desang.net/luxury-diabetic-bag.html that looks the part in by brief case, and actually is quite desecrate.

    If you could create something that:

    1. Continuous bloods sugar monitor - plots a graph of sugar levels
    2. Carb/ food data base that records your food / carb/ sugar intake over time and compares to bs levels.
    3. Has a back end that health care team can assess
    4. Allow you to add exercise and have that referenced on the blood sugar curve
    5. Allow other notes to your blood sugar curve.

    and if it was possible to make it cheap as well, that would be a miracle. I have heard the next generation of software for the iphone will incorporate a hardware interface allowing a blood sugar tester to it, but not heard about a continuous monitor being attached yet. The advantage of having all of this on an iphone or pda is that i carry it any way so i wont have another peice of hardware to remember all the time.

    http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/di ... iphone.php

    I don’t mind answering any questions, im type 1 diabetic and interested in helping in any way

    Good luck
     
  16. chris_h

    chris_h · Member

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    Even that I'm way over you criteria (55 years) I like the idea of an all in one monitor, sticking your finger in a hole and it does everything sounds like a great idea. I hate the fiddly way of putting a strip in a metre and then having to find the blasted finger pricker that always seems to fall out of the packaging, then making sure it all matches by number, what a bore, and for the young at heart, trendy colours would be nice instead of the boring blacks and blues. One company make nice coloured metres then put them in boring black cases, go figure. GOOD LUCK to you and I hope you pass your exams and get this design up and running, I know how hard it can be, as I've been there and done that in the past, so has one of my Daughters, Art and Design one of the hardest things to get into.
     
  17. Dalekkiller

    Dalekkiller · Active Member

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    Looks like there are some pretty good ideas here. I'd just like to add my voice, even though I'm out of the age range, I don't feel it and I'm a real gadget *****!

    It would be great to have a device where all you had to do is push one button and it's ready (particularly useful if you're brain's starting to get foggy) with no need to get hold of one strip and stick it in a small hole. If the lancing device was activated at the same time it would be even better. Having something that's really pocket sized could be popular, my smallest meter will fit in my pocket but not when it's in a bulky case that also has to hold a tub of test strips and a lancing device. Different colour devices would make it eye catching, without wanting to seem sexist, maybe young women would like a pink meter! Finally, the ability to transfer data to either a PC, Mac or iPhone would really make it for me.
     
  18. richieh

    richieh · Member

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    Hi the continuos monitors already exist and the newer ones are wireless.

    A device goes into the skin and a small control system picks up the signal.

    The new ones can even talk to Insulin Pumps... (cool)

    They basically require you to enter BS readings(to aid callibration), register an event when you eat or inject.
    In addition you have to keep a food diary of what you've eaten(carb count) and insulin put in


    I would go for something which can monitor BG and Insulin inserted and has a database of Carbs for common items(MacDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Harvester, A Calculator to enter 4 egg sized potatoes or whatever). Maybe web enabled to make it query data from a continuosly evolving online database. It could store common meals for a my favourites type interface.

    The meter could then provide guidance based on a users insulin carb ratio for a given meal. The system should be able to remember previous times the meal was eaten and advise if this dose caused a hyper or hypo last time. Perhaps factor in your current readings too. So the interface would say Your dose(ratio) should be x, Your dose(previous) y caused a hypo/hyper, Your currently running higher and most meals require 1 additonal unit.

    In addition full reporting based on stored data, how many carbs eaten, BS readings around the time amount of insulin put in etc
     
  19. lionrampant

    lionrampant · Well-Known Member

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    Any diabetic born in the 80s would happily wear a digital watch monitor. They're lying if they say otherwise. ;)
     
  20. Gazhay

    Gazhay · Well-Known Member

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    I was working for a medical devices company, on a diabetic device, when I was diagnosed with Type1.

    Knowing the market well, it is not realistic to think you will be able to just design a new device and get it on the market.

    Even with a team of electronics engineers, software engineers and people familiar with regulatory approvals, you are speaking 12 months minimum, and easy half million pounds R&D and manufacturing.

    You will need some serious backing and a serious competitive edge, and make sure you protect your IP so that the big boys can't ruin your party. Most healthcare providers will not buy from a company they have never heard of either, if you go bust they are left with a lot of unsupported devices.

    In short, no easy task, but with a lot of commitment and time you could have a chance.
     
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