I am a pump user myself, and I have nine years’ experience of living with one for 24 hours a day. Through this time, I have had two pumps, which were contrasting ergonomically as well as in style and sizing. With this distinct change, I noticed their benefits and faults. I could compare them against each other as well as observe the holes in the entire system, so I decided to design something new that combined the best of both.
The major fault with current Insulin Pumps are their bulky nature and so do not sit easily in pockets or under clothing. This indiscreet nature would make me self-conscious when I didn’t want it.
Additionally, one of the products had the user input most of their data into the pump, which is an awkward task if the pump is under layers of clothing. Therefore, a better solution is to have a separate device which is easily accessible.
Investigation, self reflection and development discovered options available to move forward. This included looking at the form of the overall pump; the shape of the insulin reservoir; how the cartridge will be kept in place; visibility of the vial; communication between pump and user; power sources; and ways to attach to the body or clothing.
After evaluating the ideas from each area, the design narrowed to a focused design.
By using elliptical forms and convex curves, the pump can match the contours of the body. This increases comfort, reduces the feeling of self consciousness and reduces the thickness of the product.
The window allows users to check for air bubbles which could prevent insulin delivery. This is vital as it can cause a high blood sugar for the user. Another alteration includes using elliptical reservoirs, as they can aid with reducing the pump’s width but still having the same benefit of smooth flow of insulin and removal of air bubbles.
The app uses calm, pure aesthetics for essential use of the pump’s functions. This method includes remotely (via Bluetooth) inputting medication doses, as well as checking recent activity and alarms. At the time of project, products used either the pump or the testing kit as the central controller, both of which are likely to be less accessible that just having a phone in your pocket.
If I were to do the project differently, I would push the boundaries more with reducing the size even further. At the time, I didn't realise how advanced Pump technology had become, and designs are being released that are even smaller.
Design Tags: Medical | CAD