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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Law

Inside tips for Type 1 Diabetes innovators

Innovation is at the heart of advancements in health technology. New startups are emerging every day, aiming to revolutionise how we manage chronic conditions, including Type 1 Diabetes. While these developments often make big promises about a better future for us, they often miss a crucial aspect: the lived reality of managing Type 1 Diabetes.


If you're a startup working in this space or a product developer at a diabetes company, please think hard about whether your solution adds more work for people with diabetes. It it does, please rethink! Better still, involve us in the ideation and development process. Here's why👇.


Living with Type 1 diabetes is a lot of work


Living with Type 1 Diabetes requires our constant attention. This is a list of what I have on my own plate from day to day. It’s a lot to keep on top of, even with the best technology. I wrote a whole post about how I manage it and the level of organisation it needs.


My diabetes to do list, written by pumps and pricks

Innovators need to better understand our needs


Don't get me wrong, I genuinely appreciate the enthusiasm driving innovation in this space, but sometimes I see and hear about new things and I wonder whether anyone working on product development has actually spoken to people with diabetes in the journey to create it.


If you're working in the space, here are my 6 tips:


1. No Extra Homework: If your system or app offers a lot of features but requires me to manually input more data every day, on top of what I already have to do, I probably won't use it. We don't need more on our plates.


2. Simplicity is Key: If your tech adds steps or time to my already tedious and full-on regime, I’ll look elsewhere for something simpler and quicker.


3. Reduce the Burden: Take the time to understand the intricacies of our daily healthcare routines. Find ways to decrease our workload, not add to it.


4. Save Time and Resources: Make our lives easier by saving us time, unnecessary trips, and reducing waste.


5. Cut Out Admin: Help us eliminate unnecessary admin tasks and increase automation wherever possible.


6. Affordable Tech: Find ways to make technology more affordable so more people can benefit from it.


Here's the Instagram reel version if you fancy seeing this to music:


Screenshot of the front page of the instagram reel. It says Friendly tips for innovators working in type 1 diabetes

Spread the word


Found this post useful or know someone it could help? Feel free to share it, or send it directly to colleagues and friends working in the health tech industry. The more people understand the realities of living with Type 1 Diabetes, the better the solutions that can be developed.


Looking ahead


As I prepare to attend the ADA 2023 next week, I'll be looking out for startups and technology developers that understand these points and know what we need to make our lives easier. If you're one of them, I'd love to hear from you. If you want a user perspective on what you're developing, get in touch.


Your Thoughts Matter


I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on this. If you’re living with Type 1 Diabetes, do you think the new technology being designed for us truly meets our needs? What’s one thing you wish a tech innovator would create to help manage your condition?


Remember, if you want to keep up with new posts, just enter your email in the box below to receive my monthly email. I promise I won't spam you.


Thanks for reading!


Further reading: Here's my LinkedIn post that inspired this article. You can connect with me there too. 😊

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Jun 18, 2023
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