Amy Tenderich, 10 years ago, in an open letter to Steve Jobs:
If insulin pumps or continuous monitors had the form of an iPod
Nano, people wouldn’t have to wonder why we wear our “pagers” to
our own weddings, or puzzle over that strange bulge under our
clothes. If these devices wouldn’t start suddenly and incessantly
beeping, strangers wouldn’t lecture us to turn off our “cell
phones” at the movie theater.
In short, medical device manufacturers are stuck in a bygone era;
they continue to design these products in an engineering-driven,
physician-centered bubble. They have not yet grasped the concept
that medical devices are also life devices, and therefore need to
feel good and look good for the patients using them 24/7, in
addition to keeping us alive.
(Follow-up here in 2010.)
This was incredibly prescient, given the rumors that Apple is working on continuous non-invasive glucose monitoring for Apple Watch. Jobs didn’t live to see it, but I think it’s exactly the sort of thing he would be pushing for if he were still alive.
From chapter 37 of Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs:
Even when he was barely conscious, his strong personality came
through. At one point the pulmonologist tried to put a mask over
his face when he was deeply sedated. Jobs ripped it off and
mumbled that he hated the design and refused to wear it. Though
barely able to speak, he ordered them to bring five different
options for the mask and he would pick a design he liked. The
doctors looked at Powell, puzzled. She was finally able to
distract him so they could put on the mask. He also hated the
oxygen monitor they put on his finger. He told them it was ugly
and too complex. He suggested ways it could be designed more
simply. “He was very attuned to every nuance of the environment
and objects around him, and that drained him,” Powell recalled.
★ Saturday, 20 May 2017