If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

4 03 2011

A while back, I started doing some videos about the usability of my new Animas Ping insulin pump.  It was a lot of fun, but the holidays and some other personal things sort of put a hamper on that.

However, the real reason I started doing those videos was that I was preparing for a presentation at a local usability conference called STLUX.

My emphasis in college was Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), but I am not a usability professional.  I do not doing anything related to that in my daily job.  However, it has always been a curiosity of mine, and I try to keep up with that world.

I’d been meaning to get back into HCI and thought that STLUX would be a great way to stretch my wings.  The obvious choice was my insulin pump and similar medical devices.

Since I’m not a usability professional, I tried to keep my talk light and interesting.  I’m not the best speaker, but I did have a few people come up to me after the talk to discuss things further.  I had a lot of support from my colleagues and it was a great experience all around.

My session was not recorded, but I have posted my slide deck on Scribd.  The first 13 slides are as the viewer would see it, and the second 13 slides contains my speaking notes.  You can Ctrl+click to visit the hyperlinks at the end of the document.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

In addition to my presentation, I was also volunteered to be the photographer for STLUX.  I’ve posted a bunch of pictures on Flickr already and I think there will be more from the secondary photographers up soon.

STLUX 2011 Flickr

Thanks to everyone who provided assistance and I hope you guys learn a little bit about the challenges of designing user-oriented medical devices. Now, where is that glass of milk? =)

Diabetes misinformation in comics

16 01 2009

I don’t know how many of you read xkcd, but it’s a really great math/geek/romance/stick figure comic (yes, you read that correctly).  Today’s comic mentions diabetes, so I took extra notice.

(make sure to click through the image to see the comic page, and then mouse-over to read the alt-text)

As you probably guessed, I got a little miffed.  Yet another inaccurate portrayal of diabetes.  /sigh

There are forum threads dedicated for each comic, so I went there (login not required to view) to inform other readers that this isn’t how it works at all.  But, it seems that others had beat me to it.

I am glad that people jumped on the fact that Type 1 and Type 2 are different diseases and the comic is not an accurate portrayal of either.  Unfortunately, most people don’t bother to read the forums, so all they would see is the misinformation in the comic itself.

However, I think we can all understand that the comic is more about Jurassic Park and parenting than it is about diabetes.

P.S.  For more information about my serious lack of posting, see my general blog post here.

I am…

14 11 2007

I am…
a daughter
a wife
a friend

I am…
a knitter
a gamer
a baker

I am…

I am…
in control

I am…
a diabetic

As you probably already know, today is World Diabetes Day. Diabetes is a huge concern in the United States and all across the world. Today is the day to educate people on the different types, symptoms, complications, etc.

There is a fantastic video on TuDiabetes, chronicling the Word In Your Hand project. It is very moving.

Amy from DiabetesMine recently posted about how Richard Kahn from the ADA gave a (what seemed like) anti-diabetes technology speech. Needless to say, Amy and other diabetics are outraged. We love us our technology. I would encourage you and anyone you know with diabetes to take the following survey about diabetes technology.

Support Diabetes Technology

Finally, I would like to show off Diabetes365, which is a project in which diabetics take a photo every single day for a year, highlighting what it’s like to live with diabetes every single day. There is a great Flickr pool, so please take some time to browse through the photos.

Happy World Diabetes Day!

Alzheimer’s could be related to diabetes

2 10 2007

GiR pointed me to this article, which claims that Alzheimer’s could be another type of diabetes.  They are calling it “Type 3.”  From the article:

In the brain, insulin and insulin receptors are vital to learning and memory. When insulin binds to a receptor at a synapse, it turns on a mechanism necessary for nerve cells to survive and memories to form. That Alzheimer’s disease may in part be caused by insulin resistance in the brain has scientists asking how that process gets initiated.

Of course, they also mention (way at the bottom) that Alzheimer’s would be more related to Type 2 diabetes, rather than Type 1:

“With proper research and development the drug arsenal for type 2 diabetes, in which individuals become insulin resistant, may be translated to Alzheimer’s treatment,” said Klein. “I think such drugs could supercede currently available Alzheimer’s drugs.”

I love hearing about this research; it’s baby steps closer to figuring this stuff out.

PTSD can cause diabetes?

25 09 2007

Just saw this article from Consumerist that says* the man’s posttraumatic stress disorder caused his diabetes.  Can this happen?  I would think that a person would already be pre-diabetic and possibly the PTSD aggravated the condition.  Personally, I think his/his lawyer’s claims are bogus.  What do you think?

* Technically, Consumerist is merely relaying the information from another source.  I’m not trying to imply that Consumerist is saying these things directly.

Bad test strips from China?

20 08 2007

I just read this Consumerist article about bogus LifeScan OneTouch test strips. No word on any recalls, or even what exact strips are affected. I would suggest using an alternate meter with alternate strips if you can until there is more word as to what’s going on.

Microchip to measure blood sugar?

2 08 2007

This Gizmodo article talks about a microchip that would be implanted in soldiers to measure their vital signs. The author mentions that he’d like to see it expanded for civilian use, especially for diabetics. Now, the technology is at least 5 years off, but wouldn’t it be kinda neat to have a little chip implanted somewhere that measures your blood sugar and you could view the results on your PDA or cell phone or something. It’s a long ways away, but it’s not impossible.