Diabetes Management for the Modern World

The Problem

When I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1993, it meant a chronic, lifelong condition that included 10+ fingerpricks a day, constant recording of blood glucose levels, and hourly insulin injections via needle.

Today, I have Type 1 Diabetes; a chronic lifelong condition that means 10+ fingerpricks a day, constant recording of blood glucose levels, and constant insulin injections via a mechanical pump attached to my body.

In other words, not much has changed, and for good reason. Medical devices generally take 5 to 7 years to gain full regulatory approval from the FDA, meaning any technology used in diabetic care is about 5 to 7 years behind the latest smartphones.

This is the MEDTRONIC MINIMED 530G PUMP with ENLITE SENSOR, the latest and greatest from one of the biggest names in diabetes care. Catchy, right?

The Solution

A few years ago, I had had enough. My insulin pump's battery decided to throw a tantrum on a cross-country flight, & wailed away like a 56k dialup modem until I could turn the entire thing off.

After I made sure I wasn't going to have a serious problem before landing, I pulled out my sketchbook and began to imagine what diabetes care would look like if it was designed for a world where smartphones, wearables, touchscreens & the internet existed. I called it Kho.

The Branding

The Primary Logo, featuring the brands 6 colors

Sub-brand logo for the software division of the company, symbolizing I/O, or input & output

Sub-brand logo for the hardware division, featuring the head of a screw

Early concepts starting from the fibonacci sequence, playing off the balance of man & machine

Ratios and dimensions of the logo lockup

In lieu of the generic "happy-person-looking-towards-a-blue-sky" branding of other medical companies, I chose 6 vibrant colors that scaled from dark hues on the cold side of the color wheel, to light and warm shades on the other.

I explored photographic directions for times when product imagery wouldn't be available, or would be inappropriate. All would start as high-contrast black and white images, which would then be overlaid with the bright brand colors.

The first photography direction, centered around the idea of carefree enjoyment

The second direction, centered around the human body at peak performance, unhindered

The third and final direction, featuring the textures of the human body

Printed Goods

Just like the branding, I imagined the company's relationship with it's patients to diverge from traditional medical companies.

Having experienced the call center wait times and "please have your doctor fax that form to us" runaround, I imagined a concierge experience similar to a Tesla dealership or Genius bar. Diabetes care is a low-volume, high-margin business, so each patient should be treated with respect.

Customized onboarding booklets, sent to new customers after signing up, but before thier in-person orientations with their new diabetes management system

Business cards carry the brand with edge-printed colors

Product packaging would be as carefully considered as the hardware and software within

Letterhead likewise utilizes minimal, but high contrast branding

The Apps

Beyond the branding, the majority of my work centered around a set of apps that would bring together the hardware, and enable users to manage their diabetes from one simple, contextual locale.

Intended as a cross-platform, responsive experience, the phone app would allow for by-the-minute updates and short term views of the users history.

Use of the phones other sensors would allow for integration with fitness apps, sharing of data with loved ones in real time, and safety features such as an alert that could call paramedics automatically if the user did not silence the alarm.

The home screen gives users an at-a-glace view of how they are doing, with the ability to quickly log a meal or give themselves extra medicine

The homescreen chart would be toggleable between a minimal view showing their blood glucose over time and a more detailed view showing what caused their highs and lows

An analysis page would give users a breakdown of how their doing, with suggestions for how to improve

Logging a meal would be aided by the phones internet connectivity, pulling in nutritional facts

Insulin calculations would be broken down into simple math, and show to users to allow for changes based on their experience

In the event of an extended low blood sugar, an alarm would sound on the device. If the user failed to react after a period of time, an "emergency mode" would be activated and EMTs called via the phone

The tablet apps feature a familiar interface, but showcase wider swathes of the user's history on their larger screens. The app's sidebar provides an overview of all of the devices connected together, and detailed trend reports can be generated on either tablet or desktop and shared with doctors or other medical professionals.

The larger screen can show in higher fidelity how the users number fluctuated over time

The tablet app's sidebar provides battery and connection status of the various diabetic devices connected to it

The same meal logging features are present on tablet, convient for sharing recipies made at home directly to the app

Users can review weekly, monthly or even yearly trends on larger screen devices

The web portal interface would mirror that of the tablet, with additional features such as holding real time chats with support staff along side the users trends.

I also built a public facing landing page, designed to showcase the features of the Kho ecosystem. From this site, users could contact the company, ask questions, arrange consultations and schedule appointments to receive their new diabetes care pack.