Design Improves Life With Diabetes (INDEX: Award)
"Diabetes currently affects 230 million people worldwide. For these people, blood glucose monitoring and insulin therapy are a significant part of life." (Via Omnipod)
Some designers have analysed this important daily task of diabetic people and drastically improved their lives by designing several tools to help live a better life. The next four examples have all been nominees of the INDEX: Award contest this year in the category BODY. (more examples and photos after the jump)
Diabet-Cool, designed by Nicolas Nicolaou, is a solar-powered device that keeps insulin cool without the use of electricity. It has been especially designed for diabetics who live or travel through places without electricity but who depend on insulin products. This well-designed object fits up to 5 insulin pens, is effortless to handle and does not require strong sunlight. Instead a handle allows it to be attached to a wall or the back of a rucksack and to be easily adjusted to face the sun. Read more about Diabet-Cool here.Another great tool for insulin dependent diabetics is the C-Cap, designed by Bang & Olufsen. This Intelligent Compliance Pen Cap helps patients take their medication correctly by signalling with visual and acoustic signals, when it's time to take the insulin or whether they have already taken it recently. Bang & Olufsen have applies the same aesthetics and user-friendliness to this device than to their other products, in order to design a visual but discrete feature for the user.
Here is how it works: "C-Cap reminds the user with a blinking a green indication to take bed time insulin every 24 hour. When C-Cap is then removed from the insulin pen, it responds with a long green flash, indicating that the injection has registered. If the pen cap is removed from the pen during the next hour, it warns the user by a long red flash, that the pen has been used recently. If the user is unsure whether an injection has already been taken, C-Cap can just be twisted off and the colour of the flash tells the user whether an injection is required." More about C-Cap here.
Another Insulin Management System is the Omnipod, designed by The Insulet Development Team and Continuum. It "makes diabetes a smaller part of life" by eliminating the need for needles. "Insulin can be administered with frequent shots using a syringe, or by Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion (CSII), which involves wearing a device that pumps insulin directly into the body via a tubing set connected to a cannula inserted into the skin." The benefits of CSII are better health results for the patients and permits them to lead a more normal life, without having to face a needle every day.
Omnipod is the first wearable insulin pump that makes CSII therapy possible for many people. This wire- and tubeless device can be worn under clothing so that the patient can simply forget about it and go about the daily activities. They clearly fulfilled their own design criteria for making the Omnipod "safe, reliable, easy to use, not make it look like a medical device and wearable. More about the Omnipod here.
Type 1 Tools is the last of the designs tackling life with diabetes from the INDEX: Award nominees. When Lisa Powell and Doug Powell had their child diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, they found it an "overwhelming experience". "The family is immediately thrust into a confusing and frightening daily routine of insulin doses, blood tests and mealtime calculations in which accuracy is absolutely required." This made the parents design these flash cards in order to educate and simplify life with diabetes for the whole family.
The graphic flash card work for patients and their surroundings no matter what language they speak, and the idea of the designers is to develop a similar set for Type 2 diabetes, childhood obesity or other illnesses. A large dose of clever graphic design makes these cards easy to use and result in a methodical education for recent patient. The cards are to be used at home, in clinics, restaurants or any other places you find yourself having to do complicated calculations as part for the diabetes management. Type 1 Tools makes this task easier and therefore enables patients and their surrounding people a better life. More about the Type 1 Tools here.