TECH: #1 health care blogger gets on Apple’s case

Amy Tenderich has written An Open Letter to Steve Jobs.  She wants the God of Silicon valley cool to get into the design of medical devices so that her insulin pump comes in pretty colors, just like the iPod.  Well I have an iPod (bought for me as a gift ) and I have one warning for Amy. Make sure that when Apple designs an insulin pump it:

1. Has an on/off switch (by far the most annoying feature of my iPod is the inability to turn it off without pressing about 15 times on the stop button…holding it down, hoping that it’s finally off, then it starting up again, and repeat)

2. Has a battery that lasts more than2 hours, and goes from indicating “fully charged” to “about to run out” via some other median stages. Mine doesn’t bother with telling you that.

3. Accepts blood types that are non-A(pple) and doesn’t try to convert it all into type Apple. (Worse on the video player)

4. doesn’t just randomly die, in the expectation that you’ll just go buy another one (read the iPod forums for lots of reports of this)

If you have to deal with all this to have an insulin pump that looks cool, I’m not sure it’s a trade-off I’d take. On the other hand, the current clunky insulin pumps might all have those problems already!

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5 replies »

  1. Its because the strap on the inside of your phone which connects the two pieces has either slipped or broken, in which case you can either pay to get it fixed (Around £30 in the UK) or ditch it.

  2. as univerally praised as it has been, it’s got a couple of very odd quirks

    dunno about the “universally” part, but sounds quite like you’re talking of…religion….eh, Father Gil?

  3. I’m not an Apple hater–used to be a religious devotee, but I fear that they’ve gone a step backwards in OS X and MSFT actually has come a long way baby. And you can dig into the guts of Windows to fix stuff, but you cant with Apple. I just dont think that they’ve got a monopoly on goof UI any more.
    As for the iPod–my fiancee gave me one so I can’t be nasty about it in her earshot. I just think that for a tool as univerally praised as it has been, it’s got a couple of very odd quirks. BTW I note that on the new shuffle (which I was asked to give her for Xmas) there IS an on-off switch.
    But year, this was an OTT screed I admit.

  4. I completely feel your pain. A long time ago I stupidly fell for the branding and got an ipod mini and hated it. I recommend switching to ANYTHING else. I am someone who simply never understood why anyone would choose to buy an ipod at all when there are other better mp3 players that work the same way only ten times better AND have a radio. I own an iriver clix and love it. I highly recommend the iriver or creative zen. Trust me -you will never go back. And Id like to add that itunes is the worst designed player ever.

  5. Firstly, I doubt Apple plans to enter the medical devices business anytime soon. (Though simple “medical” device accessories might be starting point, à la the Nike accelerometer.) Secondly, I’d personally care more about things other then color when it comes to insulin pumps.
    In any event, Matthew, it sounds to me like you like being an Apple hater. You’re in some good company. Just remind me to not buy you any gifts, since you seem to be a tad less than grateful.
    That being said, your (I’m sure somewhat old, somewhat poorly taken care of iPod) sounds like it is need of a battery replacement.
    It costs $60 bucks, and, in fact, Apple just sends you a refurbished (no scratches, just like new!) iPod of your same model. My iPod is going on four years old, and I’m planning on doing my second battery cycle soon. Getting a shiny new retro iPod every two years as a trade-in for my loved, but brutally used iPod (which then gets recycled and refurbished, too) is maybe one business practice makers of medical devices could look into.
    As to whatever “iPod forums” you’ve been reading, I think you should recommend that they all purchase Zune. I’m sure they’ll be much happier with such a homely little device.