‘Oh, it’s beautiful.’ These were the words the followed the sharp intake of breath as I saw the Kaleido pump stand at EASD last week. I didn’t say it to anyone in particular – I was wandering the expansive expo hall alone at the time. It was completely involuntary. The stand was a rainbow – I may have said to someone that it looked like a unicorn had thrown up in there.
You can read all about the Kaleido here. This is where you get to read about the specs and the details all tied up in the usual marketing spin that is inevitable when it comes to diabetes devices.
My take on it – after a long chat with one of the developers – is that this is a nifty little pump. It is simple – really simple – with far fewer bells and whistles than available on other pumps. There is no CGM compatibility. At this point there is no bolus wizard calculator, however, following feedback from customers, the company is developing one.
The simplicity is actually part of the beauty in a lot of ways. Those of us experiencing data burnout might find some relief in a pump that is loud and proud in its claims to be a delivery device. Full stop.
Enough about all that. What I want to talk about is how it looks. This could be because I am shallow – let’s start with that – but I think there is more to explore in here.
There was a lot of excitement from diabetes people at the event. There were a number of times that in conversations with fellow PWDs the Kaleido came up. Photos were instagrammed and tweeted, with a lot of attention being given to the gorgeous design and kaleidoscope of colours available. (Get it? Kaleidoscope…)
And inevitably, there were comments from people asking if colour is really something to be getting so excited about.
My answer to that is: actually yes.
At the moment, there are people around the world deciding what colour their next iPhone will be. Apple recently announced a rose gold case to accompany the grey and gold already available. People make decisions based on how it looks, the emotional pull, how it will look with what they are wearing.
So why is it perfectly acceptable for decisions about other tech to be about how it looks and how it makes us feel, but it’s not okay for us to take this into consideration when thinking about which insulin pump we want to use?
Obviously, we need to feel confident that it will deliver insulin accurately, that it won’t malfunction if you look at it the wrong way, or that, if something does go wrong, there is good customer service. Of course all of these things are important.
But if we can assume that it will pass the accuracy test (approval processes are tough!) and that, being a new company, they will be doing their utmost to get their customer service game right, then how it looks and makes us feel is an absolutely reasonable and rational thing for us to consider when making a decision.
The first time I went to EASD (back in 2012), I met Fredrik Debong from MySugr and he said we need to make diabetes sexy. I agree. This is a condition with a serious image problem. MySugr is all about injecting some appeal and fun into diabetes, while producing a product (a kickass app) that people love and use because the functionality is brilliant.
Funking it up a little is a good thing. And this little pump is a step in the right direction!
No – I am not funded by Kaleido. No I did not receive any product. Yes, I did ask when it is coming to the Australian market. There is no official word on that yet, but we are certainly in their plan. The launch markets will be in Europe.