Lima bean

A team of designers has come up with a rather cool design for a blood glucose meter.  They are calling their Lime green pod shaped device, the Lima bean.  Snazzy name.  The device uses infrared technology. Get more information over at Medgadget.Lima bean glucometer


Diabetes survival gear

Shortly after I was diagnosed I was given a free meter by the hospital. It was a big bulky thing that required a bucket of blood and a day to register a reading. Since them I have purchased the FreeStyle Flash Blood Glucose Meter (one for home and one for travel) from Abbott Laboratories. It take readings in about 7 second and require but a tiny drop of blood for a reading. My endocrinologist has software into which he can download the data and graph my blood glucose over time ( albeit snapshots in time ).

Novolog FlexPenI also purchased a backpack in which I carry my Apple MacBook, FreeStyle test strips, FreeStyle Sterile Lancets, a Novolog Flexpen insulin pen, and NovoFine needles for the FlexPen. I use the OS-X version of the Calorie King Exercise and Nutrition Manager to track and chart my daily food intake and also lookup the occasional restaurant meal. My kids thinks it’s cool that I have a backpack just like theirs.

AgaMatrix WaveSense Keynote

AgaMatrix KeynoteBernard Farrell, a blogger and diabetic, has posted a short video showing his use of a new blood glucose meter, the WaveSense Keynote, from AgaMatrix. I am not familiar with AgaMatrix or its products but being new to diabetes I am learning new things each day. Thanks to bloggers like Bernard and Amy Tenderich.

I browsed AgaMatrixs web site but could not find any information on availability in the USA. As a tech geek and a person with diabetes I would very much like to get my hands on this device. I have been using the excellent FreesStyle Flash from Abbott Laboratories and have been eying the now approved FreeStyle Lite but the WaveSense Keynote looks very cool ( can any medical device be described that way?) kind of like an MP3 player.

UPDATE: I found the meter and test strip on the Allegro Medical Supplies web site for around $60 and ordered one right away.

AgaMatrix KeynoteThe buzz around the device appears to be its patented error correction technology, WaveSense. WaveSense corrects for “Environmental conditions such as altitude and/or temperature when the sample is taken” as well as user errors such as insufficient blood sample.

AgaMatrix also provides Zero-Click™ Data Management Software for downloading data from the device and “provides dynamic reports that allow you to spot trends in your numbers.”

People with diabetes use iPods.

Amy Tenderich, author of the Diabetes Mine web log, wrote an open letter to Steve Jobs requesting his help in getting diabetes device manufacturers to incorporate more industrial design in their products. Diabetes test and monitoring devices tend to be bulky and ugly. The kind of thing you’d expect Microsoft to design.
Some of the Mac focused web logs and tech news sites have picked up the story and open discussion is underway. This is what I think Amy expected. In her follow up post she interviews a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellow, Joel Goldsmith, who worked at Medtronic and provides some insight into how out of touch the device makers are.

Mr Goldsmith says:

What’s funny is that these companies tend to think that people with diabetes are somehow not the same people as those buying iPods and Nintendos and Razor phones. Why would they feel any less strongly about design issues? If they have to live with these devices 24/7, why wouldn’t they feel even stronger about it?

Some in the community have suggested that hearing aids might be a better place to start. I disagree. My boss wears a hearing aid and no one notices until he tells them. My assortment of lancets, test strips, needles, and a meter is always noticed.


Medical ID bracelet

ID braceletI have not posted in quite some time. Caught up in the hustle of living. Someone suggested that I get a medical ID bracelet so I did. I am allergic to North American tree pollen and moulds especially penicillin so I got my allergies as well as my diabetes info printed on the front. I ordered it from American Medical ID. I got the traditional rectangular bracelet. It’s not attractive but it works. I wear it face down. The chain leaves indentations on my skin when I am using a computer which is almost all the time.