TypeMe is a project developed for 2010 Diabetes Mine Design challenge. TypeME is an interactive and service product built specifically for kids and teenagers in transition, when they get diagnosed with diabetes or when they start to be in charge of their own care. TypeMe is built to adapt to all kinds of diabetes regimens. It has an inbuilt glucose meter and insulin calculator– and it comes with a lancet that stores test strips. It also can connect to user’s insulin pump, continuous glucose monitor, and other new equipment.
The central insight from this project is that teenagers perceive diabetes as a lifestyle transition issue instead of a merely health problem. They think in terms of ‘modes’ where they artfully manage and shift their diabetics’ regimen. In their social encounters regarding diabetics, they value ‘one-to-few’ interactions rather than communicating with strangers in social media.
TypeMe lets the user plan for her diabetes using pre-set modes. If she has sports practices, finals, or vacations coming up, she can schedule them into TypeMe and it will make sure that even if she is stressed & busy, she is still in control of her diabetes. TypeMe stores all the insulin + glucose numbers – and it gathers her eating and exercise history.It makes sense of all this information, and it can give her suggestions if she wants it to. It can teach her how to count carbs, and how to calculate her insulin dosages. She can send her information on to insurance companies, doctors, or school nurses. TypeMe connects to her laptop via USB or wireless, and it can send text messages too.
TypeMe grows with the user. If the user gets tired of her character, she can always change it — or get rid of it altogether. TypeMe adapts to the user as she grows more independent. It helps her to coordinate her regimen, to synchronize her devices to negotiate her relationships with parents and doctors, and to adapt to changes in her diabetes: whether she has just been diagnosed with diabetes, or she has had it for years, the TypeMe will help her make the transition into adulthood, empowering her to live well with her diabetes.
We conducted semi-structured interviews with young teenagers and their parents. Having observed and analyzed the interview data, we moved to idea generation phase and developed 15 ideas, and asked people’s reactions to the scenarios embodying the ideas. This helped us to reach at more granularity, focusing on the transitions that occur in teenagers lives. TypMe has emerged as an unifying concept that address coordination and adaptation needs of teenagers with diabetes.
Visit the project blog for more information