Article in Mashable Tech
Big Idea: Jerry the Bear is a robotic teddy bear that “has” diabetes. Children are able to take care of Jerry by checking his blood glucose levels, giving him “insulin shots” and “feeding” him a variety of foods.
Why It’s Working: Targeted specifically to children living with type 1 diabetes, Jerry helps sick kids not only learn about the procedures that are performed on them daily but also empowers them to understand the importance of symptom-checking and self-care.
People with type 1 diabetes, a lifelong genetic condition that prevents the accurate breakdown of glucose in the blood, rely on a steady amount of insulin to be delivered to their bodies every day. Since young children cannot manage an insulin pump, test their own glucose or deliver their own injections, parents with diabetic children must administer at least 3 finger-sticking blood glucose checks and frequent insulin injections every day to ensure diabetes is managed. For a five-year-old child, that’s a lot of boo-boos in the name of love.
Enter Jerry the Bear, a fully interactive robotic teddy bear with type 1 diabetes and the brainchild of Northwestern students and Design for America fellows Aaron Horowitz and Hannah Chung. Horowitz, now CEO for the duo’s company Sproutel, explains that Jerry the Bear was inspired by the teddy bears children often get after their diabetes diagnosis.