Children and the Insulin Pump

I am a design student and am interested in children using the insulin pump. I am redesigning the digital interface on the Medtronic Minimed because the education level of the data is way over a child's head. I am planning on making it more kid-friendly and approachable for today's youth. Since type 1 diabetes, as I'm finding out, is increasing in children, I'm interested in what aspects of the pump is intimidating and hard to understand.. is it the icons on the buttons, the cluttered screen, the qualities that still make it seem like a medical device rather than something that children can accept as a part of them... If you're a parent of a child that uses a pump and can help me out, that would be much appreciated. My brother was diagnosed at the age of 7 with type 1 diabetes and is now 26. He still gives himself manual insulin injections and doesn't ever plan on using the pump. So, I'm trying to get another perspective from kids who are using it... and I want to improve it. If there's not yet a cure, why not improve what we have and help kids embrace their lifestyle.

I am really not sure how to reply to this. It IS a medical device. You don't want it to seem like a toy or just a personal electronic device (phone, mp3 player, etc.) because it can cause other problems - like being accused of having a phone in class when that is against the rules. (Which currently happens, so it already looks enough like these other devices to cause problems). Parents of young kids already worry that the child with D or a sibling will try to play with the pump. THis is generally not a problem - but it should maintain a feature to lock the pump to prevent accidentally giving extra insulin or turning off the pump.

I really don't know of too many kids that have problems with learning their pumps - at least for the daily functions of delivering insulin. Most of those menus are easy to follow to enter carbs and have the pump calculate the insulin amount and then deliver. I think most kids just learn the pattern and once they do are very fast and comfortable with it.

My son is 5 so I don't let him really do anything on his pump yet. The only thing he punches buttons for is to do the fill cannula part of site changes. I get him to that menu and then let him scroll up to the amount and press the OK button to deliver it. I don't have a problem with the screens for insulin delivery - we use the Animas Ping. The things that irritate me are that the screens can pull up so slowly! I know it is really just a few seconds but as soon as I hit OK, I want the next screen up - within 1 second ideally. Also, you can hold the arrow buttons down to scroll, but there is not a consistent rate that they scroll - so for entering carbs - it is useless. It goes from 10 to 90 so fast that you can't use it to get to a more realistic carb count for a meal of say 50. So you end up punching the button 50 times.

That said for the parent - navigating the other screens is annoying and don't really make a lot of sense how they are organized. I would like to be able to change I:C ratios and insulin sensitivities without going thru a bunch of other screens first. You will find some other posts on here about pump annoyances and I wouldn't really focus on kids - but adult users - since for most that is really who is in charge.

Wow, interesting comments on the Ping.  I have the Medtronic 523, I believe.  It only has the black and white screen, but there is no delay on any screen I navigate through.  Also, I believe you can turn the button panel off so only the remote control will give boluses, but since I am an adult with D I don't have that.  Certainly the Medtronic doesn't look as pretty as the Ping, but it sounds like it is more user friendly.  I don't really know this for a fact as I have never used the ping, just Medtronic Minimed's.