MiniMed 507 Insulin Pump (now Medtronic)
Available from RKS
When they first engaged RKS, MiniMed was stumped. Adoption rates on their insulin pumps, which could significantly increase both the quality and quantity of life, were low. Why wouldn’t people choose a treatment option that was significantly more effective against a deadly disease? RKS approached the problem from the first person perspective - several of our designers wore insulin pumps (delivering saline solution) to discover the emotional factors at the root of the low adoption rates. It is one thing to suffer from a chronic illness and another to be perceived as frail or sickly, and treated as such. After extensive public testing by designers, it became vividly clear why users who experience the stigma of using an insulin pump in public would want to avoid the embarrassment at all costs - even at the cost of their well-being.
The MiniMed 507's redesign capitalized on user perceptions and eliminated the stigma they often encountered with a design that mimicked popular personal communication devices at the time, while adding the impression that the user was empowered, important and necessary. Afterward, adoption rates soared, and MiniMed’s annual revenue jumped from $45M to $171M within three years.