It’s not much of a surprise that Paul Wessel noticed that his son, diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, was often misplacing his blood glucose meter, but seemed to almost always have his Nintendo DS by his side. What makes Paul special is that he used this observation to invent a blood glucose meter that his son is less likely to lose and more likely to use. We know that developing health habits can be difficult, and it can be harder for children who have not had an opportunity to fully develop discipline and who may not understand the consequences they face. Children need the help of their parents to provide the lessons, reinforcement, structure, and tools that can assist them in developing healthy habits.
Paul and Pharma firm Bayer have created a plug-in blood glucose meter for the Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS lite. When kids consistently monitor their blood glucose levels with the Didget, it rewards them with points that they can use to buy items and unlock levels in a game. The game does not seem to be health related which may actually encourage kids to use it more.
Adults have been playing games and tracking health habits using their iPhones. I have even been discussing developing a therapeutic tracking application with Zen Particles. Having a user-friendly tracking system on you at all times encourages greater consistency and accuracy in tracking. It’s a step up from when we used to write details of the day into our Franklin-Covey planners.
This Didget plugin may be more convenient and cost-effective than buying an iPhone for your child or utilizng yours for him or her (considering they are not with you all the time). I do wonder how families that utilize this as the primary or sole tracking system for their child will manage tracking during school hours.
Some of the functionality that will come with the Didget includes:
- Five-second test time
- 0.6 µL blood sample
- Saves 480 test results
- Auto-detects control
- Provides 14-day average
- Summarizes 7-day high/low
- In advanced mode, children can identify tests done before/after meals and set a reminder to test after meals
The Didget is currently available in the U.K., and not yet available in the U.S.
July 8th, 2009