Diabetes Mine Innovation Summit

DiabetesMine 2011

On Saturday September 17, I participated in a remarkable event: the first ever Diabetes Mine Innovation Summit, held at Stanford University concurrently with the Health 2.0 Conference. Forty people attended the all-day, intensive interactive session facilitated by IDEO, one of the world’s leading design firms. Firms in attendance included Abbott, Agamatrix, Caleritas, DexCom, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Sanofi-Aventis, and WellDoc. Advocacy groups included the JDRF and the ADA. Angel investors, venture capitalists, industrial designers, bloggers, healthcare professionals, and government employees rounded out the attendees.

In my short time in the world of diabetes, this was probably the most valuable single day I’ve spent so far (and I’ve had some doozies!). The level of passion and insight and excitement was remarkable. Starting from a patient perspective led by blogger Bernard Farrell and a medical device industry perspective led by Medtronic alumna and incoming ADA chairman Karen Talmadge, we then heard from past participants in the design challenge about the ideation process they used to design Sleep Well, a bedside monitoring device. Teen ambassador Cory Oringer gave an excellent talk on his perspective and vision for the future as a teen living with type 1 diabetes. After lunch we broke into twelve teams to brainstorm designs based on customer needs. Each group of three gave a two minute “skit” demonstrating their ideas. These were very entertaining and creative, including “dress-up” role-playing and creative props. Fun was had by all.

The most valuable part for me was not the formal sessions, but the discussions during coffee breaks and lunch. I got to meet fantastic people, all aligned in their passion and determination and ability to make living with diabetes easier.

Thank you Diabetes Mine and all of the Innovation Summit participants for a fantastic experience!

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