Glucose monitoring is a crucial aspect of diabetes management that millions of people around the world must perform regularly. This routine can be especially challenging for children, who may struggle to develop and adhere to healthy habits. To address this issue, Bayer Diabetes Care released an innovative solution that made glucose monitoring a fun and interactive experience: the DIDGET, a glucose meter that connects directly to Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS Lite.
I designed the DIDGET to help young children with Type 1 diabetes develop the habit of regularly testing their blood sugar levels by turning the routine into a game. I created it after a survey conducted by Bayer Diabetes Care found that 57% of parents believed children would be more likely to stick to the habit if the process was enjoyable. The DIDGET’s oblong-shaped design plugged into the Nintendo DS via a port at the bottom and was marketed as “the first and only blood glucose meter for children with Type 1 diabetes that connects directly to Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS Lite.”
The DIDGET’s design was intended to appeal to children while still being practical and accurate. It rewarded Nintendo DS users for testing their glucose levels up to four times daily by allowing them to earn points, which could then be used in the game “Knock ‘Em Downs: World’s Fair.” I did not intend for the device to be used for testing while plugged into the Nintendo DS, but its unique design encouraged frequent use and made testing an engaging activity.
A 2011 study published in the “Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology” tested the effectiveness of DIDGET using the results of 123 subjects, with both diabetes type 1 and type 2. The researchers determined that “DIDGET BGMS provided accurate test results across all age ranges in children, teens, and young adults with diabetes.” The DIDGET was not only a practical solution but also a potentially life-saving one, as it made it easier for children to manage their diabetes and monitor their glucose levels regularly.
I priced the DIDGET at £29.99 (approximately $36.30 today) in the United Kingdom, with some proceeds going to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The device’s success in making glucose monitoring more enjoyable and manageable for young children with Type 1 diabetes highlights the importance of finding innovative solutions to health problems.
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The DIDGET is a groundbreaking solution that made glucose monitoring a fun and interactive experience for children with Type 1 diabetes. Its unique design and the game it came with encouraged frequent use, making testing a habit that children could develop and stick to. The device was also accurate and potentially life-saving, providing children with the tools they need to manage their diabetes effectively.