Hope you all had a Happy Easter. I noticed there are just over three weeks left now to enter the 2009 DiabetesMine Design Challenge. (Submissions accepted until May 1, 2009). On that note, today is third in our series of interviews with our esteemed judges: a conversation with Dr. Steven Edelman — renowned diabetes researcher and founder of the TCOYD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) conference series. We’re honored to have him participate in the contest this year.
I wouldn’t say Steve is necessarily a man of few words, but he’s a busy guy — and he likes to get right to the point. Here are some of his concise thoughts on designing for diabetes:
DBMine) As an endocrinologist, why do you think diabetes patients care about good design?
SE) It makes a huge difference because it lightens up a dark subject or requirement as a PWD.
DBMine) Or if they don’t seem to care, why should they?
SE) It may matter to them if their BG control is bad… If they are doing well and are consistent, then it’s probably more a matter of aesthetics.
DBMine) You live with type 1 diabetes yourself, and are constantly hooked up to a pump and CGM system. How could better-designed gadgets and programs potentially improve your own life?
SE) Combine and miniaturize them.
DBMine) What advice would you give to an amateur out there who has a great idea for a diabetes tool? Run it by other patients? Ask their doctor if it makes sense? Or start building a prototype and test it on themselves first?
SE) Run it by other patients, for sure.
DBMine) Finally, we are thrilled to have you as one of our judges for the DiabetesMine Design Challenge. Again as both doctor and patient yourself, what would you most like to see materialize out of this diabetes design contest?
SE) A cool device that makes diabetes management more fun, effective, cool, enlightening and nice to look at!
Thank you, Steve. You’ve cut through the fat, and spoken true to my own heart here.