That got me to thinking what features really would make managing diabetes easier. I'm not talking all out revolutions like the artificial pancreas project just simple product feature updates that would have huge value at a low cost.
- Pump programming from my cell phone - Several phone and health companies have been working on incorporating a glucose meter into a cell phone. That would be a huge help but what would also be useful and perhaps a quicker win would be an insulin pump that could be programmed from an Android or Iphone app. Lets face it the interface of pumps are freaking awful; the amount of buttons I have to hit to perform a simple task makes a bolus seem like a lunar landing. Cell phone apps provide a simple elegant cheap solution to improve the UX and make programming a pump more intuitive. Plus my cell phone already has a happy place in my pocket so its not like adding another device to deal with.
- Size - My favorite glucose meter is the One Touch ultra mini. Its far from the most feature rich meter on the market but what it lacks in bells and whistles it makes up for in ease of carrying. Whether exercising or wearing jeans the ultra-mini meter takes up a fraction of the space of most other meters while doing exactly what I need (and nothing more).
- Readability - Although Animas markets their pump as the easiest to read because of its color screen in bright sun light its really tough to read. Further, the ultra-mini does not have a back light and several other meters are hard to turn the backlight on. One would think since loss of eye sight can be a major complication of diabetes more effort would be put into readability.
- When the lights are off - to my knowledge the only meter which has a "flashlight" type feature is Freestyle. I thought that idea was GENIUS. Having to turn on the bedroom lights just to test is annoying and can disrupt our partners. Alot of the time rather than turning on the bedroom light I shuffle to the bathroom to test at night. Not only is that inconvenient its dangerous. That same thought process exists for movie theaters, or any other dark environment. We should be able to test wherever we are, not be forced to find a light to test under.