Monday, January 28, 2008

Send in the designers

The medical industry has undergone a veritable revolution when it comes to provider technology, but patient technology is stuck in a 70's time warp. The insulin pump is a good example: the device is functional and reliable, to be sure, but there's no thought given to the usability and design of the pump.

Young technology companies with a fresh industry perspective can help fix this problem. Unfortunately, the inherent risk in developing a life device is too high for new companies. If an insulin pump's hardware fails silently, or a software glitch causes insulin to be dosed at the wrong levels, the patient's life is at risk. This exposes young companies to legal liabilities they can't financially handle.

If a revolution is going to happen, the existing medical device manufacturers need to rise to the challenge. They stand to benefit the most by by making devices that integrate smoothly with life.

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