This weekend, at Stanford Campus in Palo Alto, CA, I'm proud to say we hosted a historical gathering of different stakeholders around innovation in diabetes... The first-ever DiabetesMine Innovation Summit gathered in one room about 60 designers, web visionaries, Pharma Marketing and R&D folks, experts from venture capital investment, innovation and regulatory experts, and passionate patient advocates.
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The aim was to kick off a new era of collaboration among these various stakeholders, to begin revolutionizing the process of designing diabetes products, and creating best practices for keeping the actual users of these products engaged with the design side and vice-versa.
What we did, I believe, is bring a lot of important people together to confront some of the biggest questions (What's the channel for patient input? How is it enabled? And if patients are involved in the design process, are they also partially accountable for the outputs?) and get the creative juices flowing.
The Health & Wellness experts from world-renown design firm IDEO were fantastic in leading the way! First, they showcased the fact that real people with diabetes struggle with real-world problems, by helping us create this compilation of Patient Voices from various submissions to the DiabetesMine Design Challenge contest over the past few years:
Next, IDEO led us through an afternoon of Brainstorming, Ideation and Prototyping that got people thinking and working together on creating their very own solutions to real-world diabetes problems.
The whole thing got really fun (and a bit hairy!)
This was just an exercise, of course, not meant to develop "The Next Big Thing" in diabetes right on the spot. Rather, we encouraged the professionals in the room to take these new ideas back to their organizations and challenge them to experiment, to make the voice of the patient more present in everything they're doing...
All I can tell you is that everyone in attendance asked to come back next year. Next year with even more patient participation, I say!!
* Special thanks to "empowered D-patient" Bernard Farrell for sharing his personal story and insights on what's missing in diabetes technology today.
* And likewise thanks to medical device expert & ADA Board member Karen Talmadge for a very eye-opening look at the realities of the industry.
* And also thanks to Marc Anderson, manager of New Technology Development at JDRF, for taking part!
For the curious: See the rest of our event photos at the DiabetesMine Facebook page.