A very big announcement today, my Friends. Welcome to the kickoff of the ...

2nd Annual DiabetesMineâ„¢ Design ChallengeDiabetesmine_logo_210_x_176

* a competition designed to foster innovation in diabetes design and encourage creative new tools that will improve life with diabetes *

Two of the most enticing design concepts will win a package of prizes to help further their creative efforts: $1,000 in cash, some pro-bono professional advice from world-renowned design experts, and free access to the next Health 2.0 conference for one adult winner.Medgadget_logo

This contest is co-hosted by my friends over at MedGadget, the Internet journal of emerging medical technologies, and supported by the world-renowned design firm IDEO, with headquarters in Palo Alto, CA. The campaign is generously sponsored by Cory and Justin Oringer, two young brothers (ages 14Ideo_logo and 11, respectively) who have both been living with Type 1 diabetes for more than 10 years each and have already seen and personally experienced many wonderful benefits of design innovation in diabetes technology. Just a few of the innovations that have changed their lives include:

  • blood glucose tests that previously took 30 seconds now take only 5 seconds
  • 5 microliter droplets of blood required have now shrunk to just .3 microliters
  • where we once there was finger sticking only, we can now use alternate sites (nighttime toe testinggives the boys' fingers some healing relief)
  • multiple injections have now given way to the option for pumping with convenient temp basals, correction calculators, and "bolus wizards"
  • 21g lancets have slimmed down to just 30g needles, now available in "virtually painless"lancing devices like Renew and Pelikan
  • These devices provide the lancet needles in cartridge form, doing away with accidental needle sticks (Cory's schoolmate once poked himself with a lost lancet, creating havoc at their school)

At the same time, Cory and Justin have witnessed (and lived) the revolution in communication we fondly know as Social Media. Who ever heard of a "blog" back when they were diagnosed? User-generated content has changed lives, and driven a whole new wave of excitement about contests and challenges (think American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, and The Apprentice).

"With a father deeply entrenched in the diabetes business, Cory and Justin inevitably wind up in the midst of numerous innovation-brainstorming conversations. They're very excited to be involved in the DiabetesMine Design Challenge," the family writes to me.

Now for the particulars:


It was just about this time last year that I posted my Open Letter to Steve Jobs, calling for the gods of consumer design to help revolutionize design of diabetes devices. This spurred a ton of conversation across the blogosphere and mainstream media. In the weeks and months that followed, all sorts of individuals and organizations came forward with many compelling new prototypes, designs, and ideas.

This year, we're making it an official competition, laying down the gauntlet, as it were, to anyone passionate about diabetes and product design. Whether you're a pharma R&D pro, an independent engineer, a design student or an enterprising patient, we want to hear from you.


This competition is open to all individuals and organizations developing devices or supplies for people with diabetes (medications not included), or enterprising patients with unique prototype concepts. DiabetesMineâ„¢ will accept submissions in two categories: under age 18, and age 18 and older.


Submissions can be made beginning April 30, 2008, until Monday, May 26st, 2008, at 11:59 pm PST. The winners will be announced on Friday, May 30th, 2008.


The winners will receive a combination of rewards intended to help take their ground-breaking diabetes design concept to the next level: prize money, consulting advice, industry event exposure and media coverage.

  • Sponsors Cory and Justin Oringer generously offer $1,000 each in two entry categories: under age 18 and over age 18 (total prize money $2,000).
  • Health and wellness consultants from world-renown design firm IDEO will host atwo-hour workshop to help each winner refine their concept.
  • Organizers of the "innovation incubator" Health 2.0 Conference have generously offered one free access ticket to their Fall conference in San Francisco, October 21-23rd, 2008, for the winner of the adult competition.
  • MedGadget and DiabetesMineâ„¢ will promote the winners through articles and blogs, and possibly also feature some of the coolest finalists.


  • All entries must be in the form of a movie or an animation, no more than 2 minutes long (all content in English), which will be submitted by uploading into the DiabetesMineâ„¢ channel on YouTube.
  • Each product or design concept must be new, i.e. introduced within the last half-year, or in development phase, possibly undergoing user testing now.
  • One video per product idea only, please.
  • The product or design concept needs to have been created in its entirety by the submitting team, i.e. it must not infringe or violate the rights of any third parties, including, but not limited to the copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and right of publicity/privacy.
  • Each video submission needs to contain your brief but complete "Elevator Pitch," covering the following aspects describing your new design:
    • Explanation of the everyday problem(s) your concept is designed to solve — how does it help improve life for people with diabetes?
    • Description of the medical application of the product.
    • Detailed depiction of the product's look and feel, material, and dimensions. Ideally the video will include a 360-degree shot of the product or design concept.
    • Demonstration of the product in action and its various functions, if possible.
    • Each video segment must display the 2nd Annual DiabetesMineâ„¢ Design Challenge screen at the beginning and end for five seconds. (See instructions below on where to download that slide)

[for some inspiration, see tips on crafting your Elevator Pitch here. View the sample contest entry videos here. Or browse the various product pitches here.]


1. Create your video, and add the DiabetesMineâ„¢ Design Challenge screen (downloadable HERE) to appear at the beginning and end for five seconds.

2. Give your video a short, recognizable title (ideally the product name), to make it easy for readers to vote on favorites.

3. Go to this site: http://youtube.com/group/DiabetesMineDesignIT, and click on "add a video" to upload.

4. Post a comment on this blog below providing the following information to help identify your video:

  • Video title
  • Your name and age (category you are entering)
  • Valid email contact info
  • State of residence
  • Your status (medical professional, start-up company, independent designer, student, etc.)

5. Note that by submitting an entry for the 2nd Annual DiabetesMineâ„¢ Design Challenge, submitters agree to these additional OFFICIAL CONTEST RULES.


Winners will be evaluated by both popular vote and by a panel of three judges. In a sort of reverse American Idol system, reader voting will be taken into consideration, but the final determination will be made by the judges.

The judging panel will consist of one MD/Editor from MedGadget, one design expert from IDEO, and Amy Tenderich of DiabetesMineâ„¢ providing the patient perspective on user experience/desirability of the product. Entries will be judged on three-pronged criteria:

  • Efficiency - how does it solve a real-life problem for people living with diabetes?
  • Clinical Efficacy — how realistic and applicable is this product from a medical standpoint?
  • Aesthetics - it's the look and feel, Baby! How good is the pure design?

Remember, good design can be applied to anything, even something as "low-tech" as a special container for disposing of used glucose test strips. Let the innovation begin!

*** UPDATE 5/14/88 ***

We have upped the prize money, extended the submission deadline to June 16, 2008, and opened the competition up to "paper entries." Please see this press release for details.


Read this doc on Scribd: D Wallet design entry
Read this document on Scribd: BUBBLE GLUCOSE MONITORING SYSTEM
Read this document on Scribd: CarbPen entry
Read this document on Scribd: Meter + iPod Entry
Read this document on Scribd: DiaPrinter entry
Read this document on Scribd: GLUCO PATCH
Read this document on Scribd: DiMo Meter for Kids
Read this document on Scribd: Maximum Slide for Test Strips
Read this document on Scribd: DiabetesTogether entry - Shelley Robbins
Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For more details click here.


This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline's partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.