Readi Pak: An Insulated Bag that Makes it Easy to Grab and Go
Last month we introduced our new multi-purpose bag called the Readi Pak. Since we’ve never offered anything like this before, I thought it would be interesting to get some insights from the product designer Linda Szych. Linda works as a Project Supervisor on our Marketing Operations team here at Sanofi US, and has family and friends who live with diabetes, which helps guide her work.
Q: How would you describe the Readi Pak?
A: The Readi Pak is an insulated bag with two compartments, so it can hold your lunch or a snack, as well as a separate compartment for any medications and supplies. It also has a little gel pack that will keep contents cool from point A to point B or until you can put your items in a refrigerator.
Q: Can you tell us about the design process?
A: It began as a starter kit for children recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and evolved to a multi-purpose organizer for anyone who carries medical supplies. Originally it was going to hold recipe cards, meal planners and an informational DVD, but I kept thinking to myself, the parents and the kids are so overwhelmed to find out that they have diabetes; does a recipe box with a bunch of cards in it and a DVD bring real value? I thought possibly we should consider making an insulated lunch box instead.
I worked with a focus group to develop the design, and met with them several times. As part of the focus group, we had people with a variety of needs and we got their feedback about material choices and colors, because no one is going to be interested in a bag that makes them stand out. Kids want to blend in with their friends.
What really helped me was talking with one of the parents of a child living with diabetes. We sat down with a big plastic tub full of all the supplies her son uses. She filled up one of our prototype organizers and couldn’t fit in all the supplies, so we redesigned it to add capacity and a few extra compartments. We wanted to make sure that the bag would be useful, be it at school, at work or when traveling. What evolved was the Readi Pak, a bag that fits a variety of medical supplies.
Q: What makes the Readi Pak different from other bags?
A: Some other organizer kits have similar compartments, but they don’t have the refrigerator packs in them, or a place to carry snacks or meals. So basically with our organizer, you’re also getting a lunch bag. We’ve seen that this bag is useful for anyone who needs to carry medications and supplies with them, not just children going to school or people living with diabetes alone.
Additionally, other organizers are very soft and flexible so that if you accidentally put something on it, it could get crushed. The bag that we designed has a firmer lining so that it won’t get crushed as easily.
Q: Is there anything else people should know about Readi Pak?
A: We want feedback on the bag. Is it too big for you? Is there something that you would do differently with it? We produced a limited number of bags as a sort of pilot program, so we can incorporate feedback and potentially create bags with different designs in the future.
I find the various stages of the design process fascinating and appreciate Linda’s diligence in researching and designing a product that has the potential to be really useful to anyone who carries medical supplies. My thanks to her for providing these insights into the evolution of our new bag.
All the best,