As a daily user of a glucometer and blood sugar analysis kit, I experienced first hand the cumbersome, time consuming, and inefficient nature of both the physical device(s) and process involved.
When I discovered that the majority of users experienced these inconveniences, I set out to create and deliver a device that solves the major problems of a diabetes testing kit.
Conventional Testing Process
I held two focus groups with a total of 30 Type 1 Diabetics of varying ages to:
- Validate the problems I found
-Receive user feedback on potential solutions
-Brainstorm with users about solutions
The insights gained from the focus groups proved to be great sources of first hand experience and motivation to develop a solution to real world problems
3 Main Areas of focus
The conventional testing kit requires an additional larger bag for transportation
The small vial packed with test strips creates unsanitary testing conditions and discomfort
With separate, bulky components, the user has to set down and remove each component from its holder before testing
Design and distribute a portable device using existing technology that makes the blood glucose analysis testing process less cumbersome and more efficient
To truly solve the problems I observed, I need to have my product manufactured and distributed to diabetics. After considering my options, I decided to set out to license the product I designed. This meant that my product needed to consist of existing technology (no additional FDA approval) and a proprietary method/mechanism(s) for a patent
Ideation: Initial Concepts
Prior Art Research
To understand the prior art in the field of my product, I conducted a patent search. Having a few different directions for the product in mind, I looked for areas of opportunity in which my device could be patented and how I could improve on existing solutions
Through the ideation of different strip-moving mechanisms, I found a common concept: The hands-free movement of the strips in a particular order by a control member that is exposed to the user (button, slider)
Utility Patent 9737254
I translated the concept from several specific sketches to a general set of statements and wrote a patent around them. I wrote the majority of the patent on my own, using existing patents as reference, and finally handed it off to a patent attorney for the final touches. I've always enjoyed writing, especially technical content, so this was a great learning experience for me
After a year of working with the assigned Patent Examiner, I was granted a Utility Patent for my invention. My next step was to reach out to potential licensees, whom I am currently working with towards a licensing deal
Showing the Scope of the patent
When a strip is slid into the disposal position (left), the following strip is pulled via the band into the testing position (center)
A 3D printed, 3x scale, prototype of the Slider mechanism.