Case study: Digital Diabetes

Supporting self management

The Digital Diabetes project brings together people living with diabetes, carers, clinicians and the voluntary sector to understand how to support self management. The programme is a portfolio of seven promising innovation projects supported by the Digital Health & Care Institute.

Researchers collaborated with people living with diabetes, their carers and health professionals to understand their requirements and design new models of service.

Work started through a series of interviews with people living with diabetes in Scotland. People were encouraged to share their personal stories to help researchers understand some of the issues that hinder control over the condition. These interviews formed the basis of a film that sought to reveal the hidden challenges of diabetes – Making the Invisible Visible.

In parallel, the team held pop-up events in Inverness and Glasgow, designed to engage with the public on the subject by asking ‘What keeps you well?’ More than 150 people took part and recorded their answers on apple templates.

Researchers ran Labs involving people living with diabetes, their carers and health professionals. A range of activities designed for the sessions encouraged people to share their insights and creatively explore how they want to be supported in self management. The design team used the analogy of a hot air balloon to explain the experience of self management and the different elements at play in coping with diabetes.

The findings were used to inform the next series of labs, which took place in 2017.


Experience Labs: Making the Invisible Visible from The Glasgow School of Art on Vimeo.


Contact: Gemma Teal, [email protected]

Diabetes workshop Experience Labs

Researchers have worked with people living with diabetes, carers and health professionals to understand their needs. Image credit: Louise Mather