Pam of Mediche would like feedback on their new product the LifeOne; Pam says:
I feel a bit of an interloper here not being pancreatically challenged but a very interested participant. I am part of a new company (no, don’t switch off) which was asked to design an insulin injector pen with a memory. The guy who asked us to do this is type 1, a chef/restaurateur, who had had the idea when working on posh yachts and celebrities’ estates in the US and Caribbean. Because of his hectic lifestyle he couldn’t remember when or whether he had injected and how much.
We agreed to see whether we could develop his idea and have come up with Mediche LifeOne which is a diabetes management system including the injector pen with memory but also has a blood glucose meter with memory and a mobile computing device which will, when set up, allow the user to build a unique picture of their diabetes and its care and management. We have tried very hard to develop this idea with and for diabetics.
I chose this particular forum because you sound like mature and open-minded people (sorry if that sounds patronising, it’s not meant to be). Please have a look at http://www.mediche.com and let us have your thoughts. It is very important to us to get this right for those who are going to use it and not for the manufacturers or distributors.
We would dearly love to have conversations with those of you who would like to input further into the development of this product; our first design is for a diabetes management system for use with an injector pen but later evolutions will be suitable for use with a pump for those who want to record everything. We are at the concept prototype stage and looking for funding to take it to the next step.
There are several venture capitalists hovering around with pound notes in their eyes and two of the big medical device companies have approached us to have meetings with them but we would rather get it right in concept and know that we are on the right track for those who will use it than just give it to the big boys (to possibly shelve). One of the main criteria of design has been that the container should have everything in it that a person who injects insulin might need for the day, that it should be stylish and discreet – something that would not draw attention to itself on a dining table, and the mobile computing device should be intuitive. Those type 1 and type 2 insulin injectors we have already approached for input have guided what we have done so far.
So, now, over to you. I am very nervous of putting this in front of you – it’s a bit like watching your child be put to the test in the school play (well, you get the drift). Thanks for reading.
@chickalin – looks great. Though I would agree with @annette‘s concerns about storing the data remotely, if this were the only option. While being able to log in and look at your data from anywhere is a great thing, you would also need to access it directly if a) you didn’t have an available data connection; b) you didn’t want to share your data.
I would very uncomfortable with having my data held exclusively remotely – would access to it be charged? If free to begin with, might it be charged for in the future? Not having direct access to my own data would be a complete killer in my view.
In more practical terms, I think that having wireless access would dramatically increase the unit cost of the device. Something that would almost certainly put off the NHS providing them, when there are zillions of cheap meters out there.
Aaaanyway, the other things that spring out are:
* That the device could store lots of data about doses and carb input would be great. But if anything is manually inputted, like carb data, it has to be very quick to use. The OneTouch UltraSmart meter allows you record all sorts of data but it’s a bit of pain to enter it fives times a day, so you don’t bother.
* Additional features like the bolus wizard you see on pumps would be easy to provide and brilliant. There is nothing like that for MDI users.
* Reporting – there’s more to reporting than just showing graphs of results. A killer device would actually do something with your data – analysing it to show you where you’re most frequently going wrong, etc. I think that some of the maths and analysis that looks at share prices could be applied to blood glucose. Speak to an actuarial mathematician!
Looking at the package itself, some minor points:
* Is there a finger pricker (is that the thing in the top right corner?)
* Is there storage for finger pricker lancets? We’re supposed to change them each time we test (we don’t though).
* Do you have to lever the meter out or can it be used in situ?
Re-reading my post – it all sounds quite negative. But, on the positive side, I think it looks very cool. It’s nice to see an attempt at innovation in diabetes products! A brushed aluminium case would look good – or is that a bit 80’s…?
I share others’ concerns over the remote data transmission/storage issues, and would much prefer local upload/download to my PC and/or the meter to operate pretty much independently.
I’ve looked into bg monitoring apps for iPod/iPhone recently too and there are only a handful, none of which look worth trying but some sort of fast/easy data entry on the meter/pda thing might reduce the need for wireless connection between pen and meter (though that would be really cool). I am currently writing down bgs / doses / carbs / units / activity / comments in a paper record – so if recording this data electronically was as quick that would be no problem. As others have said a pump style bolus-wizard would be very useful.
Some more observations…
A way to flag-up priming doses (air shots) as opposed to actual s/c injections would be very useful
Tiny point, but the animation seems to show ‘mg’ for insulin dose. I’d need it to be insulin units (100u/ml)
Bg readings in the UK are expressed in mmol/l (mg/dl in the US) – I’m sure you know this already!
A really smart move would be to make the pen compatible with a variety of cartridge styles – naively I assume this would only involve a modification of the threaded cartridge-holding moulding. Sanofi Aventis currently have a very poor set of pens available to their users IMO.
@chickalin: 1) You should arrange a wedding between your pen and Bayer’s Contour USB-meter (an all-in-one pen&meter hybrid that hopefully would beget a child called Bolus Wizard). Currently I get all the functionality (apart from dosage Memoir) you dangle as novelty in front of us by using Glucosurfer.org.
2)What kind of battery-carbs does your lively “he” consume?
3)And do you have sister company called Medicshe that does all of your stuff in pink?
I agree it has some nice features- I particularly like the pen memory- but I’d be concerned about storage capacity. I use 2 different types of insulin (as do many of my brethren) so would prefer to keep 2 pens in the case, and I rarely go anywhere without spare test strips, MANY more than 3 needles (I am one of the smug ones who changes their needle each time I inject- which is at least 4 times a day, and I carry spares in case of split doses, dropping, unexpected delays etc…), and various other bits and pieces. It’s a nice idea to have a small discreet case, but I’m not sure that slapping that baby on the dinner table is any more discreet than taking a pen out of your handbag for a few moments.
Also, would the pen fit all of the different brands of insulin? In the past I’ve had no control over what pen I used as the manufacturers tend to only support one pen family. To have a decent market coverage I think you might have to address that problem (unlike @mike I would not change insulin type just to get the fancy gadget!). Beware the failings of the horrible Autopen, which made me move to prefilled pens! (it has a whizzy button, but it hurts like a mofo because the injection speed varies so widely, and you can’t redial a dose if you go one too far- a case of a good idea poorly implemented)
I am acutely aware that it must seem as though we have dropped off the edge of the world after having asked for your opinion about Mediche. But just to keep you up to date: we have been approached by a company in the US who love the concept of Mediche and want to develop it, not just for people with diabetes but for other long-term conditions, too. So, while doing a poster presentation at the mHealth Summit in Washington in November, we will also be going to talk to one or two of these companies about setting up a joint company in the US and getting this thing off the ground. In the meantime I want to thank all of you who have given us feedback about Mediche LifeOne in such a constructive and lighthearted manner. We have taken on board all of your suggestions (yes, Cecile, ‘s/he’ does come in pink and gold lame, if that’s your thing, and yes, Mike, it will dispense half units) and I have been singing your praises in our newsletter and to as many of your pancreatically challenged brethren who will listen. Once again, many thanks for your help and, for the newly-initiated who land on this forum, please do have a look at Mediche.com and let us have your thoughts, too.
This is very interesting. I know what i would choose as a device if someone was willing to fund it – something to filter out preservative from insulin prior to injection.
Insulin grows bacteria quite easily. Pork and beef insulins are relatively stable but still need phenols to preserve them. Human insulin is less stable and needs more phenols and analogue insulin is very unstable and needs a lot of preservative.
It is widely documented that phenols are toxic to humans. Their use in a laboratory was banned years ago. We do have a mechanism to clear them from the body as some foods are broken down into phenols, tomatoes for instance, but the enzyme which does this is not in plentiful supply. We diabetics have phenols dripped into us day and night for the rest of our lifetime.
Some of the complications of diabetes could be attributed wholly or in part to their use.
Now for another story – when artificial human growth hormone was first developed to help children with growth problems, some of them reacted to it. It was decided by the manufacturer to try and remove the phenols from the growth hormone, and they approached a Swedish scientist to come up with something. He developed a tiny filter which fits into a needle and which would filter out all the phenols JUST prior to injection – so the hormone benefited from
being stabilised and preserved , but the user would be protected from the phenols. But then they realised that they could just dry the growth hormone, it doesn’t lose efficacy dried, and it could be mixed with water just before injecting just like glucagon is mixed. So his invention was never taken up and he has not been able to interest anyone in it. He is amazed that diabetics are subjected to phenols all the time, and cannot understand why his invention has not been used. Well – the pharmaceutical people objected saying that insulin in suspension could not be filtered etc but he came up with an answer to that too.
I would be very interested in a cannula fitted with this device. There are various problems I had with analogue insulin which I attribute to phenols rather than the insulin.