Our Battle to Reach the US Diabetes Community
When most people buy a product, they don’t think much about the process that goes into it – research and development, creating a design, finding a manufacturer, researching the market, putting together a marketing plan, and – if it’s a medical device – obtaining certification in each market that you want to have your product available.
That last step is a particularly important one to take note of since medical technology has much more stringent rules and regulations that have to be adhered to (and rightly so, since a lack of standards for drugs and medical devices could cause a lot of harm to a lot of people). All in all, rolling out a new product from start to finish is a slow, time-consuming, and complicated process. Add in a medical device that is sold internationally, and you’ve got a lot of moving parts to organize.
Since starting Timesulin two years ago, it’s been our goal to make sure that every person with diabetes has access to the tools and technology that help alleviate some of the pains of living with T1D. Things like missing an insulin dose can seem like a small oversight, but result in pretty serious complications. It’s those small daily things that can make diabetes a stressful condition to live with.
And that’s one of the main reasons why we’ve set our sights on reaching the diabetes community in the U.S. Despite being the largest healthcare services market in the world, and arguably being at the forefront of new technology, development, and research, America still lags behind its European counterparts when it comes to getting access to new healthcare developments. In fact, many healthcare technologies that become available in the E.U. won’t be available to American consumers for another 3-4 years.
So why then, with technology increasing the pace of innovation, does it take so long to get new tech into the hands of people that can use it? The answer isn’t so simple.
To start, smaller healthcare startups face greater costs than they do abroad for filing an FDA application. This can cut significantly into operating and development budgets, without the confirmation of actually get approval. Even more so, the U.S. is geographically huge and setting up distribution networks can also be complicated and expensive. This gives big healthcare companies with large budgets a huge leg up, while stifling young companies that have great ideas, but not the budget to get them in front of consumers.
While this might not seem like a big deal, it’s seriously hurting the average consumer. Small tech innovations can create huge improvements in quality of life, and the more barriers there are for smaller healthcare companies, the less innovation we’ll see.
How do we move forward?
We need to give consumers more options in their healthcare. The new products and technology that make it into the U.S. consumer market shouldn’t be decided by the big companies. The individuals that will use and benefit from these devices should be the ones deciding if and when they make it to the aisles. And that’s what our crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo is setting out to do – we want to give the power to the people and let THEM decide what healthcare tech makes sense for them.
If you believe in letting people choose the kinds of healthcare tech that will make their life better, then please consider donating to our Indiegogo campaign. Or, share with a friend who could benefit from more choices in their healthcare. Together, we can give people the freedom to choose the products that they want to make living with diabetes more manageable.