Have you ever used a diabetes device (say, an insulin pump or lancet) and realized you could design a more user-friendly version? You're in luck. The blog Diabetes Mine is accepting submissions for its annual design challenge.
The contest rules are simple: Make a video or write and illustrate a pitch for a new diabetes product, such as an add-on that turns an iPhone into a blood glucose monitor with lancets, test strips, and data log included—the grand-prize winner from last year's competition. You have until April 30 to submit your designs before Diabetes Mine readers begin voting for their favorites. The top 10 finishers move on to a final round of judging, by blogger, author, and diabetes advocate Amy Tenderich (the mastermind behind the contest) and eight experts in diabetes, medical design and technology, and venture capital.
The payoff is big. Three grand-prize winners will get $7,000 a piece and help in turning their design concepts into reality. There's also a $1,000 prize for the best concept in the Kids category and another $1,000 for the "Most Creative" idea.
Dismayed by what she viewed as a lack of innovation in diabetes technology, Tenderich launched the contest in 2008. She turned to the diabetes community, which responded with solutions like an online glucose logbook and an easy-to-use test strip dispenser. Last year, Northwestern University students won the Most Creative award for an interactive toy that helps kids learn about diabetes. A 13-year-old boy who designed a system to make insulin pump tubing retractable topped the Kids group.