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Insulin Pump vs. Apple iPod

With MD&DI’s April issue coverage of the Medical Design Excellence Awards coming out this week, device design is on the editors’ brains. And it seems we’re not alone.

When Apple yesterday announced that it had sold its one millionth iPod, Amy Tendrich wrote an open letter to Steve Jobs on her blog, Diabetes Mine, asking for AppleâEUR(TM)s help in designing better medical devices. And although she readily admits that diabetics are grateful that insulin pumps keep them alive, she notes that many are clunky and not user-friendly. âEURoeIn other words,âEUR she writes, âEURoetheir design doesnâEUR(TM)t hold a candle to the iPod.âEUR Her letter makes some very good points that device makers would do well to consider when designing medical devices, especially portable ones that people carry at all times, like an insulin pump. ItâEUR(TM)s not a large leap in logic to understand that devices that users like will sell better, which will produce a return on investment of the time and care taken to create devices with good aesthetics. I have had diabetes for 23 years, and I have worn an insulin pump for the last 14 years. I can relate to AmyâEUR(TM)s frustration with people inquiring about what they think is my pager (âEURoeDo people even use those any more?âEUR) and the like. And although I think design aesthetics are getting better all the time, it is important to remember that there is still room for improvementâEUR"and device users are waiting for it. âEUR"Erin Bradford, Managing Editor, MD&DI

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