iLet Bionic Pancreas


“I trusted it, after I learned it. It had to learn me, but I had to learn it.”


The iLet is a bi-hormonal automated pump for people with diabetes. It is the first of its kind created by Beta Bionics. The paradigm for care of diabetes is significantly different with this device because it uses insulin and glucagon in connection with a sensor to determine how much delivery of either drug is needed. I led the project through the first two phases of design research and prototyping to delivering an implementable user interface.

While this device is intended to automate as much of the work as possible, it is limited by the speed of insulin and glucagon and the unexpected and fallible nature of the human. Like automated cars and planes today, there is still a human at the wheel (at least for now) - this device is no different. And so, the negotiation and collaboration between the algorithm and the person using it is critical.


Be transparent

Show cause and effect. Use of the device will be better if the why is understood. 

Design for Safety

 Safety means intentional entry, customizable alarms and plain language. 


Take away as much interaction as possible without compromising safety. 

Be Respectful

 People with diabetes are smart, they are experts in their own care.


The interface can be found in it's entirety here on Github. 

Conceptual architecture that guided the interface design.


From left to right : Device status, Lock screen (showing glanceable device and BG status, and child lock), Home screen and Glucagon entry screen.


We built a web app to prototype the first version of the interface. We used a Yota Phone to test the contrast and the interaction with an eInk screen. Click through the prototype here.


We interviewed 15 people who had been in clinical trials with the previous version of the device with various stimuli and probes. We inquired about general topics and specific interactions.

“Because it’s a machine, it’s doing all these things for you – you don’t have to know all of that stuff – it’s neat to see, but you don’t have to know that.”'Need to know' now will be more like 'nice to know' with the iLet.

“The hard part was being honest to what your telling the device. The software could help you be more honest about what your eating…Like ‘your average meal is…”

  • Date : Jan 2014 - Dec 2016
  • Company : Beta Bionics
  • Team : Ian Jorgensen - Prototype & Interaction, Yoann Resmond - Graphic Design, Sara Krugman - Research & Interaction Design. Ed Damiano, Firas Al-Katib, Raj Setty, Rob Le Bordous.
  • Discription : This project started while I was working at Line Health Care Design Studio and it was brought to completion while working at Tidepool. Read more in depth about the design process here on the Tidepool Blog.

    Bionic Pancreas User Interface by Boston University and Tidepool Project is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.