CAREKIT: DIABETES HEALTHCARE IN INDIA

Enabling diabetes healthcare management within the aspiring sector of the economy

The penetration of  diabetes is highest in the lower middle class of India, owing mainly to urbanization and lifestyle changes. However, management of diabetes is given low to no importance. The project resulted in a series of systemic approaches that evolved unto a complete business plan.

 

In collaboration with Noora Healthcare, an NGO in India

CHALLENGE AND INSIGHTS

  • Diabetes is a slow  acting disease and its effects take some time to translate into real issues. The lack of instant gratification and short-term benefits is a demotivator because the only real goal is managing and maintaining one’s health. 

  • There is a taboo surrounding seeming anything less than in the pink of health, especially with the male breadwinners of the family (who are the most impacted)

  • Many of the aspiring sector of the economy (taxi and autorickshaw drivers, security guards) have sedentary lifestyles which are an added challenge to management

  • The family of the diabetic person have a lot of motivation that could be beneficial to continue the process

THE CULTURE OF COMMUNITY - AN ECOSYSTEM FOCUS

THE CULTURE OF COMMUNITY - AN ECOSYSTEM FOCUS

India is a close knit community, where friends and neighbours are family -- and a family that is closely involved in the health and wellbeing of those in their circles. These members can provide motivation when the patient cannot feel it on their own. What if we could harness the shared motivation and include the family in the management of diabetes, in order to provide a sense of security and  accountability in the patient?

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APPROACH

ROLES PLAYED

This was an individual project, with a collaboration in the end of the process to create a viable business model

  1. Research and Data gathering

  2. Ideation and co-creation

  3. User Testing

  4. Prototyping and Refinement

  5. Design of final product (Visual communication, product design)

  6. Business Model creation

Black Pencils and Magazine
  1. Sharing Information: Knowledge sharing about the basics of diabetes, empathising with the patient and their families, disseminating information about the challenges of diabetes in a simple, accessible format.

  2. Eliminating Fear: Facilitating self esteem practices and simplifying the approach to managing diabetes

  3. Motivation: Maintaining focus by defining simple successes

ELEMENTS OF SOLUTION

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SERVICE OFFERING

1. Easy Onboarding

An empathy game presenting everyday challenges aimed at informing the patient and their family of the importance of diabetes care

When?

When the patient is first informed of their condition 

Why?

  • To understand everyday challenges

  • To highlight that diabetes management is not black and white and support should be welcomed

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2. Simple Successes and Sharing Responsibility

The patient would sign up for a calendar with short term goals that uses visualisation to track progress.

The calendar keeps in mind affordability of time and involves the entire family.

Why?

  • Sharing responsibility makes it easier to log in unbiased information and gets the family involved and informed

3. Involving Community

The solution looks at training and engaging (mainly female) community members to do checkups and keep track of patient’s progress

Why?

  • To reduce the cost of check ups

  • To engage female members of the community who sometimes cannot work due to cultural and social norms, but can be engaged from their homes

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At the point I joined forces with a colleague who focussed on diabetes dietary management so we consider how the interventions could come together in a cohesive service that our client, Noora Healthcare, could provide.

 

The solution looks at training and engaging (mainly female) community members to do checkups and keep track of the patient's progress. 

Noora Health trains the young women in basic patient health monitoring. They are also trained to identify serious situations where they will need to connect the patient to the GP. These ‘carers’ are part of the community and are more able to track the progress of the patient since they are also familiar with the patient’s families.

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All of this is done via a subscription service that the patient can pay for annually or quarterly, and Noora Health will connect them to their carers and GP, while also providing the interventions mentioned above while onboarding onto the programme.

PROTOTYPE AND IMPACT

I tested the interventions with a patient’s family and his children. Together, we refined the games, adapted the exercise calendar and simplified the requirement to track and measure his progress.

While the service may have room for more refinement, at it’s MVP stage:

  1. The careers are able to keep track of the patient's progress better for more efficient conversations with the GP

  2. The subscription service saves the patient about 40% of doctor’s fees, encouraging them to visit their GP more often

  3. The small interventions normalise the conversations of diabetes management between the patients and their families