Diabetes Project; Smart food


The idea behind alternative crisps and dips for diabetics is that diabetics shouldn’t eat regular crisps, as crisps are high in salt, fat and carbs. All bad for diabetics, there are already tons of alternative crisps on the market, with sweet potato, and parsnips, beetroot and even apple. Though they seem a smarter healthier option are they actually?

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These are three of tescos current healthy version of crisps; there all 30 gram bag, which gives the consumer about 15-20 slices (not much more then 3 mouthfuls) and as you can see there all at less than 0.5 grams for fat, saturates and salt though very high in sugar with apple slices having the highest sugar content at 22 grams out of 30 gram bag.

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Now i bet these seem healthier don’t they; unlike the alternative crisps above these are not just high in sugar, some of them are high in fat, saturates, though are still low in salt. These bags are 25 grams in weight. the lowest fat content is 5.1 grams in the berry shot, with also saturates being the lowest in berry with 0.6 grams. sugars being the lowest in pea and bean at 1.3 grams.

So through this project i will have to be very careful in the decisions of which food to use in the product that i make, as it seems that even healthy trail mix and food choices can create food to be high in fat, saturates and sugars. A major thing to keep in mind  for when it comes to choosing what food to use.


Diabetes Project; options

After my secondary research was completed, I started thinking about what I could do for my project, and after a few discussions with my brother (main client, type 1 diabetic), I came up with 3 options.

  • a new aesthetic for a sharp box for in the home environment
  • a smart safe food product (snack or desert)
  • an implant to produce insulin when needed in the body (similar to contraceptive rod)

Originally i was fully focused on redesigning a sharp box, as this was the initially problem that my brother identified to me. However after speaking with my tutor i figured out that by doing a redesign of a sharp box would end up being very similar to my adaptive grip for cutlery project, as it would be mainly changing the aesthetics of the piece to make the sharp box look pretty for the home environment.

The implant would be a more interesting and complex project to complete, though to complete this project i would have to know everything about anatomy of the body, and the pancreas and how insulin works in the body. Also i would have to figure out how this implant who be implanted into the body, and how it would work and interact with the body. Therefore this project is too complicated to complete in the time frame.

leaving me with the smart food product for diabetics; with this project, it would be a product line, with a snack and desert range. Made up of low fat, low sugar cheesecakes for the desert line, and alternative crisps such as sweet potato, courgette, bacon, plantains  for the snack line. For the snack they will need to be low sugar, low fat, and high in protein to be suitable towards the diabetic population.

Diabetes project; Diabetes type 1&2 research


  • injection technology; needle length
    • children and adolescents:4, 5, 6 mm
    • 4, 5, 6 mm needles in common use for adults no need for longer than 8mm
    • always try shorter needles first
  • insulin needs to go into the fat not muscle
  • tip charateristics
    • 3 or 5 cut
    • more cuts means that the needle is thinner and will go into the skin easier
  • technology
    • did i take my insulin?
    • timesulin
    • insulcheck
    • novopen echo
  • reducing skin punctures
    • short-term injection port iport (3 days or 75 injections) reduces from 4-6 a day to 1 every 3 days
    • its pain free
    • easier to transport
  • needle-free injectors
    • insuject system
    • injex
  • buzzy for shots
    • buzzy product

type 1

  • needs to be treated with insulin
  • control blood sugar levels
  • most common injection sites; thighs, butt, belly
  • rotation of injection site is very important, staying in the same site makes it difficult for the body to absorb insulin also create scar tissue
  • 3 main gropus of insulin
    • animal (not for humans)
    • human (not suitable to use in insulin pen)
    • analogues  (synthetic)
  • analogues insulin
    • rapid-acting; before and after food; action 0-3 hours, lasting 2-5 hours
    • long-lasting; 1 a day, lasting 24 hours, food not needed
    • ultra long-lasting; provide insulin for 42 hours, 1 at any time of day, food not needed
    • short-acting; 15-30mins before meals; 2-6 hours, lasting up to 8 hours
    • medium and long lasting; 1 or 2 a day; 4-12 hours, lasting up to 30 hours
  • storing insulin; 25 degrees room temperature, ideally 2-6 degrees

Diabetes managed

  • type 1
    • insulin shots
    • meal planning
    • exercise
  • type 2
    • diet and exercise
    • medicine (mouth)
    • insulin shots (less common)
  • symptoms of type 1
    • increased thirst
    • dry mouth
    • a need to pee
    • weight loss
    • weak, tired feeling
    • blurred vision
  • symptoms of type 2
    • blurred vision
    • slow healing sores and cuts
    • itchy skin
    • yeast infections
    • increased thirst
    • dry mouth
    • need to pee
  • blood sugar levels
    •  blood sugar levels and numbers are individual to each person
    • between 70mg/dl and 180mg/dl
    • low blood sugar under 60mg/dl
      • weak
      • dizzy
      • hungry
      • trembles
      • shaky
      • sweat
      • pounding heart
      • pale skin
      • anxious


  • type 1
    • type 1 is much less common than type 2
    • type 1 usually hits before 40 yrs old (in USA peak age is 14)
    • type 1; deficiency of insulin to do with the islet cells in the pancreas, unable to control the correct amount of output of insulin leading to blood sugar rises
    • type 1: more than 700,000 americans, 10% of all americans with diabetes have type 1, 3.7 out of 20 (per 100,000)
  • cause
    • autoimmune disorder; part of the immune system sees the islet cells of the pancreas as the enemy, body then create antibodies to fight these cells, then destroying them.
    • can be caused by viral infection
    • genetic tendency
  • treatment
    • insulin can not be taken as a pill; this is due to stomach acid destroying insulin before it gets to where it needs to go
    • insulin is a hormone and a protein
    • shots are most commonly used
    • insulin pumps have increased in popularity though is more expensive and may not be completely covered by insurance
    • 1 tubeless pump available on the current market


  • usually appears before the age of 40
  • type 1 is the most common type in children
  • between the age of 20-70 in 2015: 415 million (estimated)
  • expected: 1 out of 10 people by 2040
  • 1 out of 2 adults will have type 2 that is most likely undiagnosised
  • internation diabetes feration
    • estimated 7 countrieshad more than 10 million people with diabetes (china,india, usa, brazil, russia federation, mexico and indonesia)
    • increased prevelance in adult population
      • tokelau ( 30%)
      • navru, marritius, cook islands, marshall islands, palau, kuwait, saudi arabia, qatar new caledonia (19.6%)
  • estimated 4.5 million diabetes sufferers in the uk
  • 700 people a day / 1 every 2 mins  are diagnosised with diabetes
  • since 1996; diagnosed people has more than doubled from 1.4 million to 3.5 million
  • 10% of all diagnosed type 1 / 90% of all diagnosed type 2
  • more men than women/ 56% men 44% women
  • 31,500 children (under 19)
    • in the uk, majority is type 1
    • 95.1% type 1
    • 52% boys, 48% girls
    • girls are twice as likely to have type 2 as children
  • peak age; 9-14
  • diabetes causes 1 death every 6 seconds
    • 14.5% of global mortality in 20-79 yrs old
    • 47% deaths occurs in those under the age of 60
  • 34.4% more likely to die at a younger age
  • financial costs
    • 10 billion is spent by NHS of diabetes(10% of total budget)
    • equavilent to 1 million an hour
    • 1 out of 7 beds are taken up by a diabetic patient
  • diabetes contributes to 44% of : angina, myocardial infarction, heart failure, and stroke
  • 45.1 million prescription items were dispensed in primary car in england (2013-14)
    • 803 million
    • increase in cost 5.1% (2012-13)


Diabetes project

Visual research completed on pinterest. mood board, of existing products, memes about existing products and what might be more useful, new and up-coming products that are being tested, and interesting opinions.


With my choice of dissertation paper; the conference paper i was required to give a 10 minute presentation. during this presentation i presented the main ideas that i write about in my dissertation.

Stated by Darwin in 1859; what can be more curious than that of the hand of a man, formed for grasping, that of a mole for digging, the leg of the horse, the paddle of the porpoise, and the wing of the bat.

The  design process is a confusing thing even if you understand it and use it everyday, there are 6 main sections; discovery, define, ideate, prototype, test, and implement. However for the purpose of this paper i change test and implement into the future of the design.

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The discovery phase provided main research for the identified problem

  • hand trauma; nearly accounted for 3.7 million visits to A&E in the USA during 2008 (Mcevenue, 2016)
  • medical students not having efficient knowledge of anatomy can lead to problems; there has been a significant drop in knowledge of hand anatomy from 1992-2008 (dickson 2008)
  • hand deterioration begins after the age of 50; and after 60 there is a rapid decline in grip strength of 20-25% (carmeli 2003)
  • Designing a product there are important things to think about; thinking of peoples aspiration, uniqueness, values and lifestyle need to be considered otherwise many products for the disabled or elderly may be rejected (soarces)
  • for a product involving grip and grasp strength; correct finger movement is very important that object should first touch the proximal phalanx, middle, than finally distal phalanx (massa 2002)

Define; there were 2 main products that were analysised; arthritis gloves and adaptive grip cutlery.Going forward with the design concept there are 2 main options for a product;

  1. attachment or glove for the hand
  2. an adaptive grip for slender objects most likely cutlery

there were 2 main design concepts that were discovered during this paper; an aesthetic concept and a technological concept. The aesthetic concept; is a combination between a shape that was chosen from an anonymous survey, a modern look and colour concept, with a  creative and vintage detailing patterns for the piece. the technological concept was based around a current product of a silicone hairbrush handle, which make the hairbrush easier to hold and grasp, which is useful for the product that i am working on.