About a month ago, we had the pleasure of meeting Brooklyn-based designer, artist and health educator Sara Krugman at Maker Faire, where she eagerly told us about "Gio," the One-Handed Blood Glucose Meter. The project, a collaboration with fellow designer and artist Eric Forman, made it to the semi-finals of the Diabetes Mine 2011 Design Challenge.The Gio is a small, sleek one-handed blood glucose (BG) meter designed to make testing fast and instinctive. It combines existing technologies (meter, lancet device, and lancet/strip drum) in a sleek and portable form that can be used at work, on the street, while exercising, even while walking fast to a late appointment. Displaying BG results only, the Gio offers a radically simple and clean user experience.
The device itself is intuitive and ergonomic, neither over- nor under-designed, and duly unassuming. The "Gio" is so discreet, in fact, that it might be mistaken for something else—an office accessory, candy dispenser or even a toy—such that a user would still be wise to keep it somewhere safe.- On-the-go usability: needs just one hand and no surface
- Fast: 7 second total test time vs. ˜70 seconds with current meters
- Less pain: lancet drum automatically changes lancets
- Compatible with all application and other devices via bluetooth and mini-USB
- Self-contained and durable: no external case needed
- Dual-sided screen for fast testing with either hand
- Clear viewing lens keeps port clean while allowing visibility
- Lancing depth adjustment via intuitive finger pressure
- Fits in your pocket
I can't say that I've had firsthand experience with a BG meter, "small, sleek [and] one-handed" or otherwise, but I can imagine that the "Gio" marks a huge improvement over existing options, especially in a field that's generally underserved by design innovation.
Forman has brought it to my attention that the full project page is online here, and a revised document is online here, though the "Gio" remains "a prototype / design exercise only, and there are no plans to actually build it." He also notes that "Sara and I are both Type 1 diabetics, and started discussing our frustrations with design innovation in that space, which is how the collaboration started."