Evan McDougall | Freelance Industrial Designer
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BANTING

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Banting

Banting is a device designed to save the lives of diabetics in the developing world.  Many rural pharmacies independently choose which kinds of insulin to supply, meaning the kind of insulin available to the user can change without warning.  Currently, diabetics who need to change insulin types must undergo costly retraining to calculate their new dosage.  Banting allows for any kind of insulin available to be used in the modular system and can calculate the patient’s dosage with whichever kind of insulin is available.

 
 
 
 

Paying Homage to Dr. Banting

Dr. Fredrick Banting and his colleagues Dr. Best and Dr. Collip were the first people to discover that insulin deficiency was the root cause of diabetes.  The three doctors selflessly gave their patents for the first synthetic insulin to the University of Toronto so that it would not fall into the hands of large pharmaceutical companies who could then overcharge and delay production of the lifesaving drug. Nearly 100 years after their discovery, insulin is still out of reach of many in the developing world due largely to the greed of the same large pharmaceutical companies which Banting, Best and Collip fought to deter.  Similarly, the goal of this project is to re-democratize lifesaving diabetes technology by undercutting Big Pharma and the proprietary restrictions they have set in place. 

 
 
Evan McDougall - Banting
 
 

Research

The Banting project was shaped by a sizeable two-month research phase.  Academic research, competitive product analysis, expert interviews and use scenarios helped to shape my understanding of the problem and the resulting design brief.  The comprehensive research document is available upon request.

 
 
 
 

Insulin Types

Different types of insulin have dramatically different effects on blood sugar levels.  Each kind of insulin will lower blood sugar levels by the same amount but over a different period of time.  After diagnosis, each diabetic’s dosage of insulin can take weeks to refine and is usually a combination of a long and short acting insulin.  Banting aims to make all kinds of insulin useable to diabetics who do not have consistent access to the kinds of insulin they know how to use.

 
 
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Design Brief

Design a product that allows diabetics to utilize any kind of insulin available to them without undergoing costly retraining. 

 
 
 
 

Process

Once a final use-cycle had been established, sketches and CAD were used in conjunction to create rapid form iterations. Simple CAD forms were generated in Solidworks and sketched on top of, using Sketchbook Pro in order to refine the crude CAD. The UX of the device was then further refined.

 
 
 
 

Model Making

Model making was also crucial to the success of the Banting project.   Quick iterative models were generated throughout the project in order to obtain a general understanding of overall proportions and dimensions.  A final aesthetic model was then generated.

 
 
 
 

Sanitation

Sanitation is a top priority when considering a medical device, especially for the developing world.  The three insulin pens twist to expose the needle through the permeable membrane at the tip of the insulin pen.  This innovative design feature prevents contamination of the needle and helps to keep it sanitary.

 
 
 
 

Construction

Banting utilizes an LED array with light guides on a single PCB to cheaply and efficiently display crucial information. A metallic screen print on the flat inner wall creates crisp lines for the LED. This also allows for the lettering to easily be changed to accommodate different languages and units depending on the region the device is going to, without having to change tooling.

 
 
Evan McDougall - Banting
 
 

discrete

People with chronic diseases don’t want to be reminded that they are sick. The CMF treatment of Banting was meant to look clean and discrete without looking overly medical.

 
 
 
 

Customization

Using only capacitive touch buttons allows Banting to be more durable and produced more inexpensively than comparatively fragile moving buttons. With the LED array being invisible when off, user guidance leads the patient through the necessary steps in an intuitive way, without requiring a costly and power-hungry screen. The two-part light guide construction allows for graphics to be screen printed onto the guide. This means that languages can be changed without having to re-tool the molds.

 
 
Evan McDougall - Banting