A Call for Creativity

Diabetes products in need of new life, new looks.

By Nicole Johnson, MA, MPH

Do you ever feel that the diabetes industry is stuck in a rut?

I sometimes do. The pumps all look relatively the same. The meters have very similar features. The pump and meter cases are all pretty standard. When it comes to diabetes products, where is the creativity? Where is the expert design?

I crave diabetes products that have an edge and consider the patient environment and personality. For instance, I can’t tell you how much I dislike my glucose meter case! Black neoprene is so boring and basic. Not to mention it seems to hide in the hollows of my purse. It is easy to lose and not very inventive.

There are a few people who have gone to the edge and invented products to help meet the need. For that I am so appreciative. Skidaddle is one such company. I met them last year at the Children with Diabetes Conference in Orlando. But, no one is perfect and no one has perfected product creation. In fact, I am learning such creation is never finished and if it becomes static, something is wrong. Designers are rarely satisfied with their designs. There is always more to create!

Earlier this year, in my other professional world at the University of South Florida, I had the opportunity to meet the legendary car designers from Pininfarina. I call them the Ferrari guys! These guys “get” creativity! They are baffling and motivational.

One designer said to me, “Nicole, you need the Ferrari of insulin pumps!” I couldn’t agree more.

As we wait and hope for products to solve the problems of diabetes and make the delivery of our medications easier, I hope the industry will invest a little more in the creative approach to making those of us with diabetes live better today. Laughter is one way to make that a reality.

My pink pump makes me laugh and smile each time I see it. The color is genius, at least for me. Why not infuse each product, each device with the same element of life?

This summer I am going to be doing research on diabetes products with flair. If you have something you love, send me a note here at dLife.

At the Children with Diabetes conference in mid-July, I will present on invention and entrepreneurship and diabetes. Who better to invent and create than people whose lives are touched by this disease?

If you have thoughts or ideas, pursue them - please! I would love nothing more than to see families touched by diabetes bring really cool stuff to the diabetes space/marketplace. Think about the jewelry designers for Lauren’s Hope, the Pump Wear, Inc. folks or Skidaddle! All of these companies design out of personal experience. That personal experience demands creativity.

These are also examples of people not letting challenges stand in the way of invention. If you have an idea to improve diabetes products or to create something brand new, pursue it! It might be the next great thing.
Nicole Johnson

Read Nicole's bio here.

Read more of Nicole Johnson's columns.

NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

Last Modified Date: November 28, 2012

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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