Longtime tipster (and new author) Amy Tenderich has written an open letter to Steve Jobs of Apple, asking him to apply some of that iPod design magic to another kind of portable electronic device — a diabetic blood sugar pump:
If insulin pumps or continuous monitors had the form of an iPod Nano, people wouldn’t have to wonder why we wear our “pagers” to our own weddings, or puzzle over that strange bulge under our clothes. If these devices wouldn’t start suddenly and incessantly beeping, strangers wouldn’t lecture us to turn off our “cell phones” at the movie theater.
In short, medical device manufacturers are stuck in a bygone era; they continue to design these products in an engineering-driven, physician-centered bubble. They have not yet grasped the concept that medical devices are also life devices, and therefore need to feel good and look good for the patients using them 24/7, in addition to keeping us alive.
There’s robust commentary at DiabetesMine. Our take? This kind of request is inevitable — indeed, it echoes our earlier claim that the GlucoBand was the‘iPod of glucose monitors.’ And while the market for diabetic technology is growing, their gizmos face the common reality of all health care products — insurers won’t reimburse frills, concepts like ‘cost’ and ‘consumer preference’ are difficult to pin down in medicine, and one unfortunate reality of human nature: most people obsess and spend on things they want, rather than things they need.
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