I am an Industrial Design Student living in Cincinnati, Ohio. In my never ending search for a job, I have spent the past couple months designing a new glucometer from scratch- hopefully aiding me to get a job. Being a type 1 diabetic since 2004, I know the difficulties associated with being a diabetic and having to carry all sorts of diabetic devices and supplies with you all the time- which was the main inspiration for this project.
This is my first post to this site, and I am looking forward to hearing some comments or criticisms about the project. I have finished the design and the documentation explaining the process. The goal of this project was to design a blood glucose meter that would be convenient to type 1 diabetics who live an active lifestyle. Since the large majority of diabetics (at least in the US approx. 90%) are type 2, many of the meters on the market tend to have features for an older population diabetics with type 2 diabetes.
I know there are all sorts of miniature meters available, and I personally have looked into getting one. But the major drawback was the fact that I’d have to carry the meter and all of its supplies in a separate case. Which is less convenient for me than having to carry the bulky all-in-one Accu-check compact meter that I use now.
Anyway I’m curious to see what others think, here’s one picture of the final design:
I have to say your meter does look rather sexy! While my co-writer seems to prefer BG meters that look like they came out of the Ark, I do like a nice-looking meter!
The main thing I would say it needed would be a little LED light to illuminate the strip / where you’re finger pricking yourself, so it’s easy to use in the dark – say in a cinema or bondage dungeon. Abbott’s FreeStyle Lite has a wee light on it and it makes it a really great little meter.
As Tim says, looks aren’t top of my priority list when it comes to meters, I go for size and time to test as priorities. But if this tests in 5 seconds or less, I really like the size and the look. Agree with Tim re some form of light for middle of the night testing, that’d be a real bonus.
I’ll chip in with my thoughts. +1 for the led light idea. It’s the one thing I miss on my current meters.
I like the size if it’s similar to a Multiclix pricker or slightly larger; if it’s as big as a Novopen then it’s getting a bit chunky.
The all in one is great but the biggest problem I have for creating a compact case is the test strips. The Compact does that but as you say remains chunky.
Would the design fit the Multiclix lancets as this would also negate the need for carrying spares of needles for those obsessed with a clean lancet each time rather than each St Swithen’s Day? – I know! Apparently they do exist!
Tests in the dark are key so a good way to feel / feed the strip in is invaluable.
For me at the moment accuracy and the ability to download easily are my desires. Looks are important and small is always good but accuracy is number 1 factor and has led to me leaving behind nice looking meters before. On the flip to that I’ve also dumped meters who’s carrying size including strips capsule and pricker are too big. I always tend to go back to my Aviva Nano when needing something compact but that could be down to me never getting round to changing my prescription for the Freestyle that gets good reviews elsewhere.
I’ve just reread my reply and it’s a bit jumbled but I hope you see what I’m saying
I’m at work at the moment so I’ll have to read through it later but its reminding me in principle of two meters over here that my hospital showed me.
I’ll see if I can dig the details out.
Size used to be the big seller for me but I have to carry so much stuff now it doesn’t bother me, speed & reliability are the big pluses for me & I do like @tims led idea – nothing worse than drawing blood to waste it on the side of the strip!
Personally I’d rip my arm off for a meter which didn’t need me to carry strips (although then cleaning it would be a bain!)
Thanks for the responses everyone, I appreciate the comments. I like the idea about the LED on the end, it would be very easy to incorporate. I considered it at first but it’s a little tricky to show off in a render- I might post an update including it.
The size of the meter is a bit uncertain (I’m not sure about all the internal parts), though I’m sure there’s space to eliminate. But since I was aiming to make it integrate into an insulin pen case I simply made roughly the same size (as an insulin pen). Which if you consider current available mini meters plus a lancet device would be about the same size. There’s also the potential to include things such as bluetooth to exchange data with a smartphone (certainly room for it). Perhaps some sort of management app for android or iphone, but does anyone think that would be useful or practical? Any other ideas are welcome.
My concerns for making multiple things integrated were practicality, especially since you’d have a case to store things in. The speed and accuracy of the device isn’t something that I’d really have control over- since I’m just a designer. But I’d presume that since it would likely need/use modern updated hardware that speed and accuracy wouldn’t be a negative factor.
If you are interested about the technical aspects of glucose meters then this is a good article/page:
My first blood meter was an Exachtech pen which was brilliant so compact! No storing of results just a basic tell it as you are. MediSense also had a similar pen design.
I think today we want a lot of information in the smallest gadget possible. A light would be good as there is nothing more annoying then putting the strip in applying blood and then finding that the strip is in the wrong way round especially at 2am!
I briefly glanced over the presentation and it looks good. I’ll have to have more time though for any real/useful comments to be made
What do you mean exactly? I gave thought to incorporating some sort of automatic test strip loading device at first. Though practically it wouldn’t be very feasible (I don’t think) in terms of size. The likely choice would be a rotating drum that contained a number of pre-loaded strips, or possibly a some sort of clip design that fed test strips like a magazine. It would probably take much more development than I can offer alone to accomplish. Also keep in mind that test strips are very sensitive and have to be housed in a proper storage container so that they maintain accuracy.
A lancet device that auto-loaded new lancets would be a possibility since I believe there would be enough room inside the meter to incorporate a drum to load new lancets. But again, that was eliminated due to practicality- if you have test strips separate then lancets aren’t much more to carry. The basic premise of the design was to make everything easily fit into a case that would carry other things like an insulin pen etc.
Thanks for the input, any other ideas are welcome.
Very cool, I was having trouble finding pen shape designs, though I was sure they existed somewhere. I agree that the light is definitely something to incorporate. I knew that if it was something that appealed to many I could always add it without changing the model (I’ll do a render of what it may look like and post it here).
I’m also with you on the fact that technology is growing and people expect more with new products. This is good because it would help justify the overall size of the meter design. I mean if all it did was give you a reading and store them, the size would probably be expected to be smaller. Fortunately I left room to expand on the technology side of things given that it would have plenty of room, battery life, and a decent display. What sort of additional features would you expect to be useful? I know that I have my own opinions, but I’d like to hear what others think.
I mentioned Bluetooth for connecting with a smartphone to send and receive data. Perhaps a smartphone application that would track results, suggest meal plans, or send data to a doctor. This would compete with the OneTouch UltraSmart which has similar features built in, making it rather large. Simply uploading the data to a smartphone (which are vastly increasing in popularity) would eliminate those hassles and offer a much more expansive platform given all the things a modern smartphone has/ can do. I can see younger diabetics taking to this idea since they practically all have smartphones. Thoughts?