Diabetes Is No Fun, but It Can Be a Game

Luke Wessel was four years old when he figured out how to hide the glucose meter his parents used to monitor his diabetes. He associated the device with uncomfortable finger pricks needed to test his blood sugar, so he hid the meter under rugs or beneath his mattress. "It was like an Easter egg hunt every day," says his father, Paul Wessel, an inventor and entrepreneur. In contrast, Luke treasured his Nintendo (NTDOY) Game Boy-which gave his dad an idea: How about a video game that would reward Luke for every drop of blood he drew?

Wessel's brainstorm is now a commercial product backed by German health-care giant Bayer (BAYRY), which purchased the company Wessel founded and brought him on board to launch Didget, the first glucose meter that plugs directly into a game console. Didget went on sale in the U.K. last year. And while Bayer says it's too early to gauge its success, the company plans to roll it out in the U.S. in May.

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