Insulin Pump

Pod Pals for OmniPod

We’ve designed up some new Peelz that help kids make their own characters on their OmniPod. If you like our insulin pump skins you’ll love these!

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Minimed Paradigm Skins and continuing to Innovate

It is constantly challenging to find time to write! Tons of new things have happened in the past year and we are busier than ever. For those of you that follow us on Facebook and Twitter I’m sure you’ve seen our posts about getting married. If you missed the saga – take a look at our Facebook! For those that want the Reader’s Digest version : Here’s a photo from our wedding! Note the OmniPods and PumpPeelz all over our get-a-way car!

Pump Peelz and OmniPod Car

Emily and Scott’s Get-a-way car with Pump Peelz

A lot of folks have asked us to start creating new Peelz and quite frankly we’ve been planning on doing so all along. After attending the Students with Diabetes Conference in Tampa, we realized that the Medtronic Minimed pumps were extremely popular!  So we came back and went back to the drawing board to create the patterns. Let me introduce you to some of the new products!

Medtronic Minimed Paradigm 5 Peelz (skins)

Medtronic Minimed Paradigm 7 Peelz (skins)

We’ve got a few more products to introduce but I’ll save that for the next post! Enjoy and be feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

Pump Peelz for OmniPod Users (formerly OmniSkinz!)

It has been almost 6 months since I created my first blog post about my OmniSkinz venture. Because I am just now ready to launch a slightly modified version of the product, I thought I would take a few minutes to write down a little about how this all got started and where we are going with Pump Peelz!

The whole idea behind this product came when I was sitting on the steps of my home, Emily was wearing her OmniPod and I just sort of said “You know, it would be great if we could customize the Pod.” I can’t recall who said it, but my Mom or Dad said something like “Well, why don’t you?” It was a pretty simple statement but it made a big impact!

Initially, I created a few plastic prototypes after contacting the engineering department at California University of Pennsylvania. I then sent the prototypes to OmniPod and was very politely told that they weren’t ready to let me license the idea to them.

That brings me to my initial blog post! I was pretty bummed out that I was turned down for what I thought was a pretty great idea. So about a week later I decided to put out every piece of information and design I had so that I could get feedback from the pumping community. It was sort of a last ditch effort to see if it was an idea worth pursuing. I also decided to post Insulet’s email address so that fans of the product would be able to email the company and ask them to reconsider.

I think I released the OmniSkinz blog on a Wednesday night at about 8pm EST. I couldn’t believe the feedback I got! Literally hundreds of views from all over the world, dozens of comments, emails, blogs, it was unbelievable!

Within a day of releasing my blog I received a call from Insulet’s marketing director explaining that they may consider the idea in the future. It was quite a change of heart!

Not long after I posted the blog, I took my prototypes to a vacuum forming factory outside of Pittsburgh. This is when I learned how much it costs to manufacture plastic pieces! There are lots of set-up fees, mold charges, CAD engineering… it’s an intense process!

After considering the initial investment, I figured I’d better not quite my day job. So the brainstorming began on how to  create another version of the same product. It wasn’t until a few weeks later when I sat down for a radio interview with the CEO of the Pittsburgh Technology Council on Tech Vibe Radio that I started to think back to my original designs.

Listen to the radio interview here!

When I filed a provisional patent, I also submitted a design for a “sticker.” It was a design that I created by making small slices in a piece of paper until I could wrap the pump up without creating wrinkles along the curves. Pretty scientific huh? A few tweaks in photoshop and we were good to go!

Me and Emily spent the next few weeks tweaking designs and creating buzz about the store! While brainstorming in New York City, we decided that we would launch the product as soon as we got back to Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, after stopping to get new tires outside of the city I received a phone call from Insulet about changing out name to not include the words Omni or Pod! …Back to the drawing board we went! We polled Facebook, we asked friends, we almost settled a few times until we realized a lot of the names were already trademarked!

Finally, on the way back to my house on a Saturday night I figured out the name… Pump Peelz. When you search for it, nothing comes up! When you type it into google there isn’t inappropriate material (unlike if you type in “skinz”). We were set!

The store opened on a Wednesday in the morning, and we sold several hundred different Pump Peelz in the first 12 hours!

We hope to raise money to create a hardshell case in the future, but for right now we are working like crazy to get Pump Peelz off the ground! Keep posted as I’m sure there will be more to this story!

Thanks for all the help, support, insights, surveys, and everything else! If you did any of these, just know that I couldn’t give up on you guys no matter how many times I got turned down! If it makes diabetes even a little more fun I did my job.

I am probably the only business owner that hopes to go out of business soon. Ultimately, I don’t want to create Pump Peelz… I’d rather Emily and the rest of the diabetic community have a cure. So with each sale of Pump Peelz, we will donate a percentage to JDRF.

And when there is a cure, I’ll be out of business and one happy camper… but don’t worry, I’ll find other trouble to get into.

To check out the store go to: www.pumppeelz.com

“Switch it Up” OmniSkinz for OmniPod Users (now Pump Peelz)

 

I can finally say that together we made this happen! We haven’t forgotten about the hardshell cases, but we were able to develop Pump Peelz to help decorate the OmniPod.


Go to www.pumppeelz.com to learn more!

Or visit us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/podskinz

Also, if you want to help support finding a cure for diabetes, visit www.jdrf.org. On a side note, if you go to Moe’s Southwest Grill and “make it a meal” they donate a portion of the sale to the JDRF. Great cause and great food.

OmniSkinz is a plastic case designed to fit over the OmniPod. I developed OmniSkinz to help type 1 diabetics using the OmniPod express themselves by customizing their pods. A 12 year old boy could have a basketball themed pod for his games, a 16 year old girl could have her pod match her bathing suit at the beach, a 30 year old mom could have a “skin colored” case to help hide her pump. The possibilities are endless.

***OmniPod is a trademark of the Insulet Corp. I will not be manufacturing any skinz with their logo without permission. The “OmniPod” logo on the red pod is just for demonstration purpose only***

I never really considered being a product developer, innovator, or inventor. After all I went to school for music technology! But two years ago when my fiancée, Emily, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, everything changed. Our lives became consumed with glucose test strips, lancets, ketone strips, Apidra bottles, and sharps containers (most of which she can hide in a purse the size of my iPhone). I had a lot of learning to do!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with type 1 diabetes, let me fill you in! If you already know all about this stuff scroll down to the OmniSkinz Story in bold.

Type 1 diabetes… the “Reader’s Digest” version.

First off, it’s not the same as your grandma’s diabetes… that is called type 2. This form of diabetes is called type 1 (aka juvenile diabetes). It’s an autoimmune disease and not a lifestyle disease. You can be a young Olympic athlete, a toddler, a teen etc. and still be diagnosed. Essentially, type 1 diabetes is a pain and an inconsiderate jerk.

The other main point that differentiates type 1 diabetes is that it is “insulin dependent.” What this means is that your body attacks the beta cells in your pancreas and renders it relatively useless. The only way to manage this form of diabetes is with insulin therapy via injections or insulin pumps.

The OmniSkinz Story

A few months after Emily was diagnosed she decided to go with the OmniPod Insulin Management System. It’s a revolutionary little pump that uses no tubing and sort of looks like a white travel sized computer mouse. You can stick it to just about any part of your body and it doses the proper amount of insulin. The little pump really makes it much easier to live a normal life. I highly recommend checking out the product on their website if you are considering getting an insulin pump.

Not too long after Emily went on the OmniPod, I started to think about the possibility of making a case for the pump.  We live in a world of products that are personalized. Cell phones have millions of different cases and colors to choose from… diabetics on the OmniPod have one color – white.

I obviously wasn’t the first person to think that the OmniPod was bland. A quick google image search will show hundreds of teens and kids putting stickers on their pump. I even saw one image of a Christmas Tree decorated with OmniPod ornaments.

And so it began…

Designing and Prototyping

Omniskinz by Scott Imblum

After some brainstorming, I created a rough sketch to show the dimensions and features of the OmniSkinz case (see above). I also tried to design a very rough sample of what I envisioned being designed on the cases. I don’t think anyone is giving me an award for my floral pattern.

Once I had the design I started researching how to get a plastic prototype made. After a few phone calls and emails I found that my school, California University of Pennsylvania, has an industrial tech program along with a plastic prototyping machine. Bingo!

I talked with a professor and was able to propose my idea to one of the classes. One student in particular thought the idea was worth pursuing. The original prototype was created for less than a hundred bucks and a few hours of work.

The Very First OmniSkinz Prototype

Alright, so the first prototype really wasn’t the greatest. It was a bit bulky and still had that medical white look to it. On the bright side, it was definitely a start.

Fast forward a few months and I receive a phone call from the same student. “I’ve got it” he said, “let’s try colored plastic vacuum forming instead.” Problem solved. It was cheaper, quicker, and looked way better.

The final OmniSkinz prototypes were born in less than ten minutes.

The Final OmniSkinz Protype

“Pimp Your Pod”

Fun. Funky. Fresh. That was the look that I was going for when I developed the look of the first advertisement for the brand. The “Pimp Your Pod” slogan was born. I designed this the same week that Steve Jobs passed away. I have always been inspired by Apple and decided to make the pods look like icons on the “dock” of a Mac.

I should also point out that I’m not a designer or a Photoshop expert. I found everything that I needed to know about the Adobe Creative Suite on YouTube or www.lynda.com.

The design above was inspired by the old colored Apple iMac advertising campaigns. I called this one “Jazz it up.” Emily later came up with the “Switch it Up” concept which I used for the final foam board presentation.

The “Rosa Pod” above was inspired by the Fiat company. I test drove a new Fiat 500 in Washington D.C. and loved the marketing material I was given after the drive. The one pamphlet I was given had each of the colors that the car came in… listed in Italian! Rossa, giallo, nero, grigio etc. I loved the idea. It sounded artsy and sophisticated.

And finally, the actual prototypes ready to be sent to Insulet Corp with the “Switch it Up” slogan created by Emily.

Two weeks later I had a really nice phone conversation with the director of marketing. He loved the idea and explained that the company may consider the concept in the future.

Final Thoughts

I spent about a year working on this project and I loved every minute. It was an awesome learning experience and I have nothing to regret. I learned a ton about licensing, design, manufacturing and marketing through this project and I’d be happy to share some insights with you if you have questions. On a side note, if you have ideas or want to help send me an email at omniskinz@gmail.com

My final thought with the OmniSkinz product is to have OmniPod users take the survey so that I can collect the data to show the Insulet Corp that OmniSkinz is a marketable product.

With your help I can show that a small idea can have a big impact.


Take the OmniSkinz Survey Here!

Email the Insulet Corporation about OmniSkinz Here!