Pearson Innovation- Innovation Consultants
Diabetes
Simplifying insulin monitoring
Making many things into one
Functional prototyping
Testing the interface
Ergonomic modelling
Designing the mechanics
Engineering the product
Fitting the electronics
Testing the solution
The final model
Hypoguard Flight

Problem

In 2003, this second-tier blood glucose meter manufacturer faced a market dominated by major device companies the likes of J&J, Bayer and Roche. As is often the case these market leaders were slugging it out in a stagnant, cost driven market, bidding to gain market share. Their innovation consisted of offering incremental change such as faster, more accurate meters, requiring smaller volumes of blood. Research showed that users did not see this as innovative or offering significant benefits at a time when blood glucose testing was rapidly becoming consumer driven. Hypoguard decided to develop a brand-new cartridge meter with a focus on tangible user benefits.

Process

We started with worldwide research into the "diabetic´s journey" and the role nurses played. Working with naïve and regular users unearthed a list of problems, the most prominent being how awkward and fiddly most meters are to use, despite the fact that diabetes is often suffered by the elderly, the arthritic and those with poor eyesight.

This led to the decision to develop a disposable meter which held 100 strips that were automatically delivered to the user thus eliminating the usual fiddly steps.Our work took the design from first concept right through to production with a strong emphasis on manufacturing strategy. Hundreds of test rigs were built to prove mechanisms and establish moisture ingress through plastics.

Solution

The solution is a simple easy-to-use robust, disposable meter that is hardly larger than some normal meters yet contains 100 strips. Its design has made it possible to produce the meter and strips for the same price as the100 normal strips alone. It was launched in the US in 2005 for sale via Walmart.

Benefit

By focussing on user benefit we were able to launch a cartridge meter in a market where the major players had previously failed. The message was not lost on those majors, some of whom redoubled efforts to deliver a cartridge meter. As yet no competitor product has been successfully launched.