A portable insulin kit for children with type 1 diabetes has been showcased at a design conference in Cape Tow, South Africa.
The Thomy consists of an ergonomically designed insulin pen to ensure it fits smaller hands and a set of child-friendly tattoos to help the child remember when they last injected.
There is a release dial which reacts to temperature and changes colour, helping the child to see when the full dose has been delivered.
The equipment was designed by design graduate Renata Souza, who was inspired by her nephew following his type 1 diabetes diagnosis.
Speaking at Cape Town’s Design Indaba 2018, she said: “After observing Thomas’ routine, I realised how tedious the process of injecting insulin into the body is. It’s hard for him to use a regular insulin pen because of his little hands, and it’s easy for him to forget where he last injected insulin.
“From one day to another, Thomas has to deal with his fear of needles. I realised how much this was stealing from Thomas’s childhood. That’s when I decided I wanted to design something for children with type 1 diabetes, something fun, something they could look forward to.”
She introduced the tattoo element after researching how different injection sites must be alternated on a regular basis to avoid lumps of fat developing. They create a map of injection spots by using coloured dots. The child can also use the tattoo to determine when to change injection sites when it loses colour.
She asked her nephew to test the product and requested feedback from him. A picture she received showed one of Thomas’s brothers wearing a tattoo, who did not have diabetes.
Souza said: “I knew then that I had hit my goal. I had made things better for Thomas.”
So far the product has been recognised by the James Dyson Awards last year where Souza was named as a national finalist.

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