You can’t see my underwear but I still care what it looks like

12 Jul 2013 2min read

In a recent conversation with a lady who’s suffered from type 1 diabetes for the last 30 years, the subject came up about of the appearance of insulin pumps. Having questioned why a pump that she’d been offered looked so masculine the response from the prescriber was, “Why does it matter, you wear it under your clothes?”

Her response was, “You can’t see my underwear, but I still care what it looks like.”

“I almost felt guilty asking if I could have the pink version of the life saving device that I wear all day every day.” she told us. This is a good reminder that even with essential medical devices aesthetics still really matter. Patients want to feel that the companies that supply there devices have made an effort. Obviously to understand their practical needs but also the emotional factors that surround the management of their conditions.

Design alone won’t solve the perennial issue of adherence or compliance. Our chances of having a positive impact are increased if we combine good design with effective technology and a broader understanding of what users really desire. But we mustn’t overlook the fact that it does matter to patients what their devices look like, even if they are hidden under clothes.

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