Medical device design, to be successful, must start with a crystal clear understanding of the true problem the device will be designed to solve. This quote, from Sonny Vu, in an article at MIT Technology Review,  superbly illustrates the point: “If you have diabetes, what’s your main problem? It’s that you don’t want to have diabetes anymore”.

Sonny is an entrepreneur and medical device developer who has co-founded several medical device companies, one of which – AgaMatrix – has just released an FDA-approved glucose sensor that plugs into an iphone. Carrying a glucose meter is a constant reminder that you have diabetes. By creating a meter that is closely integrated with a phone – something people usually carry with them anyway – that constant reminder goes away. “We enabled people to be closer to where they wanted to be, which was a little less diabetic”.

You may not agree that the ibgstar device will be effective at making people feel less diabetic. The point is that medical device designers need to get to the pure essence of a problem. Doing so allows you to see the problem from an entirely different perspective. And true innovation only comes when you look at something in a way no one else has.