What else do you want?

So GoogleX has announced their intent to develop, and find a manufacturing partner for, a glucose-sensing contact lens. Okay, great. Let’s hope their research comes up with something new and fantastic for People With Diabetes.

However, it’s not usually one device, but an entire system that matters, that helps us. In fact, I’d like it if GoogleX’s research results included several other ideas. You (and by You, I mean anyone developing new medical technology) can apply many of these notions to anything you might develop in the future. I’m including some other ideas here just because, you know, it’s my blog, and it’s Friday. Do you have ideas of your own? Feel free to get your own blog, or leave a comment below.

1. Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy. The data I’m getting from your device needs to accurately report what’s happening with my BGs, or it’s a non-starter with me. Period.

2. Can you make this technology work with the rest of my robot parts? Like, can it talk to my pump please? Regardless of the pump manufacturer? This also requires you to get on board, Asante, Medtronic, Tandem, Animas, et al. And FDA. Silos: Bad. Collaboration: Good. I believe the word we’re referencing here is “Interoperability”. See also “Open Platform”.

3. Ooh… Can we also have it upload data directly to our healthcare professionals? And can we force our healthcare professionals to actually read it and use it to help us get to meaningful outcomes? I’m not above using Pavlovian methods in pursuit of this goal. In fact, just thinking about this has me salivating like a dog.

4. Any chance you could get it to determine actual carb counts in literally everything? This is something else that would need to work in concert with another device. Look at a plate of food, blink your eye (or maybe wiggle your nose– whatever works), and have the carb count immediately display on your smart phone or Google Glass. You know, something like that might actually get me to invest in a smart phone.

5. While we’re at it, can you get any accompanying software associated with your product to work over multiple operating systems, including Windows, Apple, and all the rest? No excuses about how “we just wanted to get it to work on one system, and we’ll be working on the others soon”. Conformity: Bad. Diversity: Good.

6. While we’re still at it, can you make it affordable? Always? I mean, if you can help someone use their phone so they can see House of Cards or an adorable dog food commercial via their television set, and do it for 35 dollars, you should allow me to have access to my personal data without it costing me a fortune.

7. Can you get my insurance plan to cover it? This would eliminate the need for #6. Extra points for you if you can pull this off. Extra extra points if you can make it available to everyone who wants it. If we’re living with diabetes, we’re all equal, even if our insurance plans are not. No use getting excited over a new device if I can’t afford to get my hands on it. And I don’t need the guilt that comes with having access to something that someone else does not.

8. Can you use David Bowie’s Space Oddity in your marketing efforts for this product? No real reason, except I think it’s kind of a cool song with a great sound that lends itself to something futuristic. Even if it is nearly 45 years old. Side note: Maybe this isn’t the best choice here. Listening to it again, I realize it always reminds me of going low. That funky/weird guitar thing in the background is what’s playing in my mind during hypoglycemia. So, ummmm…. Never mind.

Those are my eight seven ideas. Feel free to add to the list by leaving the results of your brainstorming below. And please remember it’s Friday, so feel free to have fun with it too.

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  • BBird  On January 24, 2014 at 11:28 am

    #4: yes. Yes! YES!!!!!


  • Heather Gabel  On January 24, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I am so happy that you wrote about this big ‘reveal’. Apparently, the idea has been around since about 2007, but the guy who developed the concept was just hired by google and that is why the idea is resurfacing. I love all of the ideas you brought up. Hopefully they are going to look for patient insight as they continue working on it. I have to say that if google is helping to develop ANY kind of health related tech I am beyond happy regardless of how the first attempt turns out. Thanks for sharing your ideas! I sincerely hope they listen.


    • StephenS  On January 24, 2014 at 3:22 pm

      Thanks Heather. I would love to be part of a clinical trial for a tool like this one.


  • Trademark Guy  On January 29, 2014 at 5:17 am

    Totally agree with the Space Oddity suggestion – no better way to jazz things up!


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