Faculty Advisor

Peura, Robert A.

Abstract

This report investigates blood glucose meters used by people with diabetes. The sponsor of this project is currently working on a new diabetes blood glucose meter and wished to find out about what was important to the final users of blood glucose meters, specifically the people with diabetes. There are three main areas of interest in this report: 1.) What features are most important to a person with diabetes when obtaining a new meter? 2.) How do people find out about new metering technologies, such as meters that facilitate alternative site testing (AST)? 3.) What types of meters do people with diabetes want to see in the future? Several possible methods of obtaining the desired information are discussed, including surveys, interviews and focus groups. A cross between an interview and a survey was chosen as the best method because of the desire for both qualitative and quantitative question types. A survey-interview was developed in order to collect data from the desired sample. The seventy-five person sample chosen for this study was based on a convenience model in order to eliminate many of the drawbacks of interviews and surveys. Possible respondents in a physician's office that specializes in diabetes care were asked to donate their time to complete the short survey-interview. All the respondents were screened to ensure that they had either type I or type II diabetes and were currently using insulin. The results of the feature section show that people with diabetes consider accuracy to be the most important feature when obtaining a new meter. The ranking of the remaining features was calculated in several different ways, but the final ranking that was deemed most suitable resulted in the following ranking, with a (t) following the feature denoting a tie: Accuracy, Blood Sample Size, Speed-t, Convenience-t, Reliability, Portability, Discomfort, Alternative Site Testing-t, Cost-t, Maintenance-t, Data Management and Appearance. In the section dealing with alternative site testing, the research pointed out that most people learn about new technologies from their physician as well as through media sources. It was also found that people want meters that are easier to use and less of a hassle to use. This makes non-invasive metering a much anticipated technology for the future.

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2004

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project

Accessibility

Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Biomedical Engineering

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