What if a Type 1 Diabetic could order all of their medications and devices in one place and have one less thing to manage?
JOIN Diabetes Kit
Interaction Design / 3D Product / Strategy / Design Research
Phuong Anh Nguyen, Tzu Ching Lin, Runshi Wei
MFA Products of Design
School of Visual Arts, 2017
Project manager, lead strategist and lead researcher.
Make the on boarding for Type 1 Diabetes more seamless and the process more streamlined for keeping track of ordering medications and devices.
JOIN is a subscription based mail-order kit for Type 1 Diabetics that provides all of the T1 diabetes supplies and medication, joined together in one comprehensive and comforting form. It is paired with an app to give diabetics the agency to understand everything about their treatment process, and helps them better monitor their medications and empowers them to test different medications and devices that work best for them. The JOIN experience is a customizable, easy to re-order, and affordable one. After receiving the first kit, diabetics can customize the next orders based on which brands work best, which products or medications are needed as they stay on top of the newest diabetes technology.
The Current Landscape
A Type 1 Diabetic has to constantly self monitor their insulin and glucose levels, which requires a lot of time, calculations and blood tests. They create their own “medication bag” or ways to carry around all of the necessary medications and instruments to keep them healthy, alive and on track. When a medication runs out, or supplies are needed, the diabetic needs to reorder them as one would any medication. However, they don’t just have one medication or one supply piece to order, they have many. They don’t run out at the same time and they can’t always order them from the same places. So they have to closely monitor each and every part of their treatment, re-order it individually, and pick it up individually to stay on track. There’s no one place to find information about new devices and medication and it’s hard to keep up.
This project focused on what could be created in terms of a do-it-yourself (DIY) healthcare. The project began by thinking about different angles with which DIY components could be implemented and started with a concept around “journaling” as well as a look into DIY hospital kiosks. Through comprehensive secondary research, we gained a deeper understanding of what was feasible, where the red tape was, and then began talking to patients of chronic illnesses. After speaking to patients with Type I Diabetes, Parkinson’s and Epilepsy it became clear that there were many different steps and medications these patients had to partake in everyday, but patients with Type I Diabetes were already greatly involved in DIY healthcare. From here the project focused on Type I Diabetes and spoke with many patients in order to better learn what their daily routine was, what the on-boarding process was, and how the project may be able to intervene and make this better.
Seeing how many different devices each patient had to carry around with them every day, reorder separately from separate pharmacies was an overwhelming process and was a clear pain point for diabetics. This is where the Diabetes Kit began and evolved along the way. It was also important that there be an app be paired along with the kit to help the monitoring but also to create a community for diabetics to share information.
Crazy Eights - How Might We’s
“When I’m getting ready for bed I’m pretty bad at testing myself. It’s the hardest time of the day because I just don’t want to do anything else. Having to remember everything in my daily routine is exhausting. I’ve tried to learn not to be frustrated, but sometimes you can’t explain how many things you have to do. I get devastated.”
Type 1 Diabetic
If this project were to move forward it would need much more user testing and additional prototypes that could possibly downsize the kit and think of more ways to make the process more efficient for the diabetic. Additionally, there needs to be conversations with pharmacies and drug companies to figure out viability and feasibility. The business model would need to ensure that the kit is affordable to all while also being profitable. A challenge in this area that is not always easy.