I have no idea how Abbot will use my user feedback in the further development of the Navigator. Although the idea of having the potential even the smallest voice in the development process makes me feel like this blog is potentially accomplishing something. I even included some of my thoughts on sustainability in future generations of the Navigator. And who knows who else might come along the below view points; because I think we're all striving for the same thing - a better, easier way to manage our blood sugars that is more integrated into our daily activities. Here are my hopes for the next generation Navigator:
1. Adhesion, although I have used several different types of external medical tape I have continued to have a problem keeping the sensor attached to my body. This has been in part due to the size of the transmitter and the lack of adhesive tape attached to the sensor. Often after a simple shower or a 1/2 hour in the pool the sensor will fall off, sometimes without my knowledge. Would love to see future versions of the sensor have extra adhesion.
2. The 90 degree cannula neither stays in my body as well nor is as comfortable as a 45 degree or variable angle cannula, like the Minimed Silhoute. When speaking with diabetic educators about which insertion set to go with for my insulin pump they unanimously suggested the variable angle type. A longer cannula would also give me piece of mind that the sensor is staying in place, and actually provides more comfort because its further below the tactile nerves in my skin.
3. A universal insertion device would achieve two goals. From a sustainability perspective, a "gun" similar to the one Medtronic uses for their insertion devices reduces the amount of plastic required for each sensor. This reduces the environmental impact of each sensor as there would be less waste material; additionally this may provide more consistency for insertion as a "gun" is much easier to handle than the bulky automatic inserter. Secondly, this could provide a huge cost savings to Abbott; less plastic means lower manufacturing and shipping costs. The production line for the mold of each automatic inserter could be removed, by removing the plastic automatic inserter each shipping box will be smaller, a smaller and lower weight shipping box means lower shipping costs for Abbott - a win, win for consumer and producer.
4. A smaller transmitter and smaller receiver. In a perfect world the receiver would be the size of a Garmin Forerunner watch. For training purposes wearing a watch that displayed my blood glucose and trend at all times would be a gift from heaven. The watch would allow me to view my blood glucose more easily and require less effort than the current receiver does. Additionally, the lower bulk of a watch makes it a more practical solution - for my needs communication distance is much less important than size. Both the Polar HRM and Garmin Forerunners are great models for product innovation.
5. Although you are serving two consumer bases, the menu options on the receiver are a bit limited. Because it is produced for such a generic audience I understand that you need to keep it as simple as possible. However, I think the simplicity at times makes it more complicated than it needs to be. Additionally, I would like to see my glucose number always displayed; and the backlight automatically come on when I hit a button; rather than having to hit a button to display glucose and a second button for the back light.
6. Battery life and battery recycling is another main concern. A shift to a rechargeable battery or a longer life battery would help a ton. Too often the battery in the transmitter goes dead without my knowledge; having a rechargeable unit in place would allow more frequent use of the device and ensure that the device does not go dead mid-cycle.