The largest magazine about diabetes in Sweden, “Diabetes”, is published by the Swedish Diabetes Association. It recently brought an interview with the DiaSecure inventor and founder, Charles Ruben.
An executive summary in English follows below.
The idea struck on the way to the restaurant
Charles was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes already at the age of 30. He thinks it was triggered by stress. During the 20 years since, his treatment has developed from lifestyle change and diet to pills of various kinds and the past four years also insulin.
- Diabetes is a difficult disease, Charles says. He believes that diabetes, even though one tries to treat it, tears the body apart from within:
- It’s a scary disease. If one take too high of an insulin dosis, or too often, one can become very ill, very quickly.
As a director for a large, publicly listed company, Charles used to travel 170-180 days a year, all over the world, a few years ago. It was from that globetrotter experience, with constant business lunches and restaurant visits, the idea for the aid DiaSecure was born in April of 2010.
- I had so many things to remember; “where is my insulin, the syringes, the pills?” It became convenient to skip all those things. In the middle of business negotiations regarding large contracts it wasn’t possible to say: “I need to go to the hotel to pick up my diabetes stuff”, Charles says.
On the way to a restaurant in his home neighbourhood, Charles started looking in his pockets for the insulin, realizing he had forgotten it at home.
- I said to myself: “That’s it.” I went home, into the kitchen, found a napkin and drew a device similar to DiaSecure, he says.
The DiaSecure container contains two compartments for storing used and unused syringes. Through small holes in the compartments, one can see how many used and unused syringes there are, and thus knowing how many insulin shots one have administered during a day.
The pills are stored in a special compartment and the actual insulin pen is clicked on to the side of the DiaSecure unit.
- I initially produced this thing to keep a personal track of things, but after having done a market survey I realized that it is quite common that people are careless about these things.
Today, Charles receives 70-80 inquiries every day, which he takes pride in answering personally, and right away. A normal work day has 18 hours, weekdays and weekends. The strong market response on his product has made the work worthwile, because “it is extremely much work” with launching the product in more than 20 countries.
DiaSecure is sold from Australia and New Zealand to North America, both online and in pharmacies.
- I remember being at Stockholm Arlanda airport this summer, and taking out the syringe, pills and so on from my DiaSecure unit, and then I felt someone knocking me on the shoulder asking what the unit was for, because he could see it had something to to do with insulin, Charles explains and continues:
- I told him about the product and then he called some 20 people over; it turns out they were a local chapter of a diabetes association on their way to Tuscany, Italy. They wanted to know where they could buy the product.
Often, reactions are however not that positive when administering insulin:
- Many times, people will stare on you when administering the insulin. It feels hard, especially when you’re amongst strangers. It seems like people think you’re a criminal, doing drugs,Charles says and concludes with a smile:
- Once, this one guy couldn’t stop looking at me. I was just waiting for him to call the waiter over and tell him a man is doing drugs. That would’ve been sort of fun.