Fighting child diabetes with fun!


Every year, approximately 80,000 children are diagnosed with type-1 diabetes across the world (close to 19% of them are American children). Designing an insulin delivery toolkit for children, Mexican designer Renata Souza Luque makes taking insulin shots feel less scary. Medical design is incredibly challenging, as is designing for children. Thomy, the insulin delivery kit for children, combines both seamlessly.

Souza Luque starting developing the project after her seven-year-old cousin Tomas was diagnosed. Realizing that Tomas needed as many as 5 insulin shots a day and that his fear of needles needed addressing, she designed Thomy, a kit that makes taking insulin injections less clinical, and more child-friendly.

The Thomy is effective in tackling the three problem points with insulin shots. The Thomy uses a temporary tattoo kit that not only gives the child a cool graphic on their skin to show off, the tattoos are also designed to help demarcate parts of the body where the shot is to be take. It’s important to make sure you don’t take two shots in the same place, so as to prevent lumps of fat from developing. The tattoo comes with various colored dots that one uses as guides for injecting. Before injecting yourself, you use an alcohol wipe to remove the dot, not only making sure you erase the area that has been injected, but also ensuring the skin is disinfected. Then simply hold the injection against the wiped area and inject the insulin. When using the injection, you press down on a button made of thermochromic plastic that changes color. The amount of time it takes to change color roughly coincides with the time it takes for the insulin to be injected into the body. Looking at the changing color distracts the child from the needle and therefore the child is less likely to be afraid of the injection because the entire experience is made more child-friendly while retaining the efficacy of the insulin delivery procedure!

Designer: Renata Souza Luque