Disclosure: I do not know for sure whether this company intends to enter this year's DiabetesMine Design Challenge competition (although I hope so!); I've simply been corresponding with the co-founder for several weeks and find the product interesting — and hopefully inspirational for all fans of diabetes innovation.
A small company in Finland called Mendor has caught the diabetes-consumer-design bug. The glucose meter they're developing by the same name bears a striking resemblance to a cellphone, with the lancing device and test strips built right in, making it extremely portable and easy to use. God knows I'm a big fan of all-in-one D-products that reduce our hassles.
I like the look and feel of this meter, and the ease of use.
Like the OnQ, the Mendor all-in-one meter is convenient and discreet. It requires no carry case or any other extra components (separate lancing device or strip vial). It fits easily into a pocket or purse and it can be used for days and weeks without no need to frequently reload strips (depending on how many strips you use per day).
The Mendor device is also fully mechanically operated, so there is no noisy electric motor or beeps.
The "magic" of Mendor is apparently the unique web-based data logging software that comes with the meter. According to the company, it "is not like all the log books out there, but rather helps diabetics at home and professionals at practices to determine the current state of patients treatment with a couple of easy steps." Since it's not out yet, the real benefits of their program remain to be seen. But I like their thinking, anyway.
So it gets high marks on form factor and user-friendliness, but there are limits to the innovation here; no wireless technology is employed yet, and no — the meter does not interact with any pumps or CGM systems, even via cable at this time.
And now to real-world adoption issues: the biggest open question is pricing for patients — make-or-break in my book. According to the company, exact test strip pricing is not set yet. Assuming strips are loaded on a cartridge, how many will each cartridge contain and what is the cost??
The Mendor meter and software will be launched in Finland and EU markets during 2010. USA launch is planned to take place during 2011, so let's keep our eyes peeled: how will they fare vs. Intuity's device? Or something else, even cooler, that might come out of this year's Design Challenge?