John Timberlake has been commercializing diabetes drugs and devices for 25 years. Over the course of his career, one theme has always stood out: if you want people to use your product, it has to be made with the end-user in mind.
“It’s really [about] understanding the patient first and then designing the technology around the patient,” the Valeritas CEO said this month at DeviceTalks West.
The mantra of patient-centric design also rang true with Timberlake’s fellow panelist, Dr. Stephanie Habif of Tandem Diabetes Care – a California-based company that makes the t:slim X2 insulin pump.
“Taking a patient-centric approach is a critical part in understanding how to develop your products and the interaction you want your users to have with those products,” she said.
‘Patient-centric design’ is a catchy phrase in today’s medtech ecosystem, often tossed about with little action to ground it. But Habif and Timberlake emphasized repeatedly that beginning the device development process with the end user’s needs in mind is fundamental.
“There’s a lot of great technology out there looking for a patient indication. That’s not really the way to do it,” Timberlake said.