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person using blood glucose meter

Easy To Use Glucose Meter

OneTouch SelectSimple®

LifeScan

Red dot design award winner logo

Background

Over the years, Shore has made significant contributions to the medical diagnostic device landscape. One example is our longstanding partnership with LifeScan on developing their OneTouch® blood glucose meters.

 

One of our early projects tasked us with designing and developing a blood glucose meter specifically tailored for emerging markets. In collaboration with LifeScan, we aimed to address the unique challenges of accessibility, affordability, and cultural nuances faced by people with diabetes in these regions.

 

Given the infrequency of testing through strips in these markets—largely due to the cost-prohibitive nature of the strips—it was essential to devise a solution that ensured users could clearly understand their results whenever they were able to test.

 

The project sought to navigate these complexities by creating an affordable, universally intuitive device that was not only cost-effective but extremely simple to use.

Value Delivered

  • Simple and engaging solution
  • Low-cost manufacture
  • Millions of units sold worldwide
  • Form factor authority for follow-on products
  • Stepping stone to the OneTouch® brand which is now used in 65+ countries
  • Winner of a prestigious Red Dot Design Design Award

Project Scope

Research & Feasibility, Usability Design, Human Factors Studies, Industrial Design, Product Architecture, Engineering, Prototype & Evaluation, Design Transfer

Project Scope

Research & Feasibility
Usability Design
Human Factors Studies
Industrial Design
Product Architecture
Engineering
Prototype & Evaluation
Design Transfer

“The clear design of this blood glucose meter is exemplary. Its use can be grasped intuitively, and the measurement results are easy to understand”.

Red Dot Design Award Jury

Understanding User Needs

Accurate, simple, and accessible monitoring solutions enable people with diabetes to maintain control over their blood sugar levels and adjust their lifestyle accordingly. However, people with diabetes in emerging economies encounter additional barriers to diabetes care. Limited access to education on managing diabetes, and in some cases low numerical literacy, make monitoring or even understanding diabetes difficult. These challenges presented a need for innovative solutions to convey blood glucose results in a universal language.

Design Philosophy

Given the challenges of meeting the needs of a wide range of users, the overarching philosophy was “less is more”, driven by diverse user needs of a non-western market. The aim was to provide a streamlined, refined but simple user experience with quality, reliability, and usability at the forefront.

Simplifying
Interaction

By stripping the use steps back to only the essential interactions, the entire test process is as simple as:

  1. Insert a test strip into the device wakes the device and graphically prompts the application of blood. (this removed the need for a power button)
  2. Apply a small blood sample automatically begins the analysis
  3. After a few seconds the result is displayed on screen
  4. Removing the strip powers down the meter
Illustration of the use steps described, showing the insertion of a strip, the application of blood to the strip, the reading display and the removal of the strip and resulting power off.

By redesigning the experience with only critical use steps in mind, removing all buttons, and utilising key steps to progress the journey, there is no need for a complex setup processes or written instruction on screen. Each physical interaction automatically prompts the next required action. Additionally, the meter provides visual and audio alerts only for high and low blood glucose levels – attracting attention only when necessary.

 

Focusing on simplicity, we removed technical complexity making the experience accessible and straightforward for users of all ages and technical literacy, with fewer steps reducing the margin for error, whilst still providing actionable cues when needed.

 

Not only was user experience streamlined, but the manufacturing process greatly simplified, with fewer parts – leading to lower cost, low battery consumption, the ability to utilise fixed segment display and easier reliability and maintenance for the end user.

Visual Communication
of Data: Less is More

Typically,  numerical only representation of diagnostic data can be difficult to interpret. Numbers alone lack context, meaning or indicate if action is required. This is especially important when under stress or for those with limited health. Our challenge was to translate abstract blood glucose readings into instantly understandable information. To do this, we implemented several innovative user interface features to make the device more intuitive.

Industrial design sketches of OneTouch blood glucose meters.

To visually convey blood glucose levels, a colour-coded feedback system was developed. From left to right, a blue result suggests low glucose levels, and a red result indicates high glucose levels, and any result in between falling into an ‘in-range’ result. This graded scale provides an immediate visual cue about the user’s health status. The use of large display fonts ensures that results are easily readable ‘at a glance’.

 

Additionally, to provide emphasis on low or high results, if blood glucose levels fall too low or rise too high, the device emits distinct sounds to alert the user. This auditory feedback is crucial for immediate recognition of potentially dangerous glucose levels, enabling users to take quick action, such as consuming juice in the case of hypoglycemia or consulting a healthcare provider for hyperglycemia.

The ‘less is more’ approach did not just lead to aesthetic or technical enhancements, they deeply improved the usability of the meter, improving accessibility, and ensuring that crucial health information is not lost in a crowded user interface (UI).

Impact and Value Delivered

Through being inspired by the specific needs of non-Western markets, we delivered a Red Dot Design Award winning product, with user interface features that are now a hallmark of all OneTouch meters, embodying the “less is more” philosophy in a way that resonates globally. SelectSimple has sold millions of units, and been distributed in dozens of markets, becoming one of the most widely used blood glucose meters worldwide.

“The key thing for me that separates Shore from their competition is the quality of their work and the maturity of design. I do not hesitate in recommending them to anyone else within our organisation or externally.”

R&D Project Leader, LifeScan

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Four different OneTouch blood glucose meters displaying blood sugar readings using various range indicator graphics. From left to right: the first has a numeric display with color-coded dots underneath, the second shows a numeric display with three colour coded ranges, the third includes a text 'In Range' indicator to indicate the three colour coded ranges, and the fourth displays the result, using emoji, and a multi-colored range bar.

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