Global Wearable Devices – a Dutch-Chinese manufacturer of mobile devices – asked Helder-id to design a smartwatch for a British biomedical company developing the world’s first non-invasive Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) device for people living with diabetes.
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR HEALTH IN STYLE
Services: Product design | Interaction Design | Engineering | Prototyping |
Industry: Consumer | Healthcare | Wearables
Improve blood sugar management
With over 420 million diabetics worldwide and the number of pre-diabetics at almost three times this number, diabetes is a global healthcare concern.
Combining clinical research with patient-friendly technology, CGM is expected to deliver a non-invasive, affordable and flexible method of tracking blood glucose for better diabetes management.
Starting point for Helder-id was to design a medical device with a non-medical character: a stylish and non-stigmatizing alternative to the well-known grey plastic boxes with Velcro straps. With the first prototypes, the sensor patch was positioned under the forearm of the patient, connected to the wearable by means of a small wire. Eventually, a patch was developed that allowed wireless connection to the reader, giving the user more freedom to position the patch. Also, the size of the device became much smaller, which offered new possibilities for a more elegant design.
During the project many prototypes were made to assess both user aspects, functional characteristics and CE-compliancy. Helder-id also took care of the production of a larger test series to be used for the clinical trials.
Helder-id designed two different user interfaces: a medical compliant GUI, hard-coded for a 128×128 pixel monochrome memory LCD display, next to a more colourful ‘lifestyle version’ based on Google’s Android Wear OS for derived versions of the device that comply to less stringent medical guidelines.
To accommodate the device to the largest possible user group the client opted for a fully customizable concept. Interchangeable straps and bezels were created enabling the user to adapt the wearable to different fashionable styles and color schemes: from playful and trendy to more elegant and traditional. The casing also features removeable ‘shoulders’, allowing special features to click on, such as a pocket clip, a chain connector or a hinged cover. With the straps completely removed, it is also possible to accommodate the device in a special leather pocket pouch, containing a compartment for the consumables.
The Dutch-Chinese company GW Devices was one of the first manufacturers to market smartwatches that can phone and text without forcing users to tether to a smartphone. The company sold a wide range of so called ‘SIM-watches’ under various brand names to different outlets. GW Devices has gradually shifted its focus from consumer products to specialty products, including products targeted on security and medical applications.
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