My story with diabetes began during pregnancy in 2019 when I developed gestational diabetes. When the doctor’s office notified me that my blood sugar had fallen to a diabetic level, I was unsurprised. I experienced a few hypoglycemic episodes in the weeks leading up to the test. Nonetheless, I did find it surprising that testing my blood sugar would become such an ordeal.
My primary bathroom did not have drawers, so I stored my supplies on the counter. What quickly happened was:
The testing supplies got scattered and hidden from view
They became contaminated
Trash began accumulating on the countertop
So there was the frustration of finding my supplies promptly, and then there were also safety concerns. When I did see the supplies I needed, they were covered with water, toothpaste, and hair and skin products. And needles and used test strips were accessible to little hands and paws. The conditions were not safe or sanitary.
A year after giving birth to my beautiful daughter, I began testing my blood sugar again to see if I was keeping a type 2 diabetes diagnosis at bay. I have learned that my pregnancy brain was not the cause of my organizational issues because the supplies were scattered again.
When I jumped online to purchase a product that would solve this issue (my house now has a child, and safety has become more of a concern,) I could not find a product that would suitably fix my problem. (This is the moment that changed the path I was on.) I recalled seeing an email from The University of Akron (I am a returning student – Go Zips!) asking if we had a business idea to join their program. So I joined Starting Line, where we learned the Business Model Canvas. After crafting a value proposition and identifying customer segments and channels, I was accepted into The University of Akron’s I-Corps Cohort.
This program educated us on how to conduct effective and purposeful customer interviews.
The following summer, I continued testing my hypotheses by teaming up with Case Western students taking an entrepreneur class. Together we completed 140 customer interviews. I learned that many people managing diabetes are fed up with current solutions. They are tired of the disorganization, and the mess testing leaves behind.
One customer said her test strips were all over her house. Another customer said her daughter leaves needles on the bathroom floor. My primary care physician also liked the idea. He enthusiastically said, “Great idea. My patients will remember to test. When the supplies are stored in a drawer, they tend to forget. Out of sight is out of mind.” Because we received much positive feedback, I have been working hard to materialize this idea.
My hope is the Diacad will make lives a little easier. Routine glucose testing is essential in one’s journey toward a high quality of life.
If you believe in this diabetes solution, please support us now.
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