· Sara Voisin – Process Engineer
· Jason Rodriguez – Mechanical Engineer
· User Research
· Data Analysis (Qual + Quant)
· Experimental Design
Adhesive patch redesign for Medtronic's next-gen glucose monitor
TIME + SPACE
· Medtronic – Los Angeles, CA
· 2017 – 2018
Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) provide diabetics with their realtime blood glucose levels on their phone or insulin pump. They reduce the number of painful fingersticks patients have to do, and help them manage their disease.
Our main goal for each new sensor was to be more accurate than the last. But accuracy is hard and expensive to achieve. We were also seeing diminishing returns by the 4th generation sensor. I wanted to find new ways to make a difference.
R&D typically got their product specs from Marketing, and never did patient research of their own. I wanted to change that, so I visited one of our clinics, spoke to patients myself, and did some follow up research. Here's what I learned.
The sensors fell off early because of the way the adhesive patch was designed.
The insertion process was needlessly complex and frustrating.
The sensors were irritating to wear for an extended time.
Follow-up research showed that at least 25% of our patients had experienced one of these issues in the past year.
All of these issues had a common source: the adhesive patch that secures the sensor to the body. The design was flawed, the material was irritating, and the complex liners protecting the adhesive caused confusion.
Sara helped us navigate
the validation process.
Jason helped with the
transmitter & sensor Tape
Patch liner instructions
I designed experiments and performed the statistical analysis to validate the new designs.
With our proof-of-concept, we convinced leadership to invest in the project. We helped implement the design in the next-gen sensor product.
But something bigger happened too. After seeing our low-cost, patient-first solution, the rest of the department realized the power of having regular conversations with patients.
With the continued advocacy of myself and others, R&D began conducting more user research, and the priority for the next-gen sensor eventually changed from accuracy to usability. We became a more human-centered company.