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.

— NOTE: I have posted this over on my diabetes web site.

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