Care Maps: Transforming diabetes care with peer-to-peer support
Care Maps: Transforming diabetes care with peer-to-peer support
A relevant issue, addressed in a clever and sustainable manner.
A peer-to-peer service that can be extended to the community and physicians. It is unclear about the sustainability of this P2P user+physical relation as those professionals tend to have a busy frantic schedule. Overall, I believe the solution has its place.
A great app. A little bit confusing when stated as a spin-off for Nordisk to test new concepts and innovation. It is also unclear how they pretend to conquer the large user base that is required for a service like this. That being said, diabetes is a very emotional topic and one that definitely deserves a peer-to-peer platform like the proposed.
Care Maps: Transforming diabetes care with peer-to-peer support
CIID Consulting designed and developed a new service offering that pairs online and offline support for people with type-2 diabetes. Care Maps is a service that elevates the emotional well being of people with type-2 diabetes by facilitating peer-to-peer patient connections and providing practical tools for coping with the complexity of a changing lifestyle. Additionally, the service helps participants create individualized “Care Maps” of local community services and activities, creating a ubiquitous layer of support throughout a patient’s everyday routines.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
The project was developed based on the insight that there is an under-addressed need among diabetes patients to be as well supported emotionally as they are medically. In most cases, the current US healthcare system is unable to provide this support due to its rigid structure. Community initiatives try to fill this gap, but these efforts are fragmented, and many patients’ emotional needs are unaddressed. By amplifying the power of communities to support the emotional aspects of diabetes care, Novo Nordisk believed they could equip patients to make better care choices and improve their medical compliance.
During the project, researchers, designers and strategists from CIID Consulting conducted an iterative process of co-creating ideas to understanding the dynamics, differences and potential of existing local communities outside the established healthcare system to become key players/contributors to diabetes care. The goal was to envision a viable role that Novo Nordisk could play in support of community-based diabetes care initiatives (the “What”) and to consider the organizational implications of pursuing this role (the “How”).
The project Approach was 3 fold:
(i) Understand the current scope of community initiatives in the US that could be leveraged to adopt and self-run initiatives to support diabetes care.
(ii) Design a vision of how Novo Nordisk can contribute to the emotional aspects of diabetes care and their involvement in such a vision.
(iii) Understand the desirability and feasibility of the defined vision to be adopted by different types of communities across the US.
In addition to creating a compelling user experience design CIID consulting presented an innovative point of view on how the service should be implemented. CIID developed an implementation structure that would ensure Care Maps would be a sustainable service, would provide value to patients and bring strategic benefit to its implementation partners.
CIID recommended that the service should be incubated in a format resembling a self-sustainable startup. The Care Maps startup would be a fast-paced, self-running entity that is independent from Novo Nordisk’s corporate structure. Once the startup has been founded, a core team would take the lead in building and implementing a minimal viable product for a Care Maps pilot launch. There are many reasons why implementing Care Maps in the form of a startup is a strategic benefit to both the service itself and Novo Nordisk. Some of these include:
(i) The Care Maps startup can become a test bed for implementing innovation projects that aren’t directly tied to Novo Nordisk’s core business. Novo Nordisk can assess if this model provides an opportunity for accelerated or financially advantageous implementation.
(ii) The team can be located on the ground where the pilot will take place providing more flexibility for testing elements of the service prior to a launch and building relationships with potential partners.
(iii) Care Maps can build a potent, stand-alone brand that will gain stronger market awareness among patients and within the healthcare sector.
During the project CIID Consulting undertook a rigorous and iterative design process that incorporated prototyping and getting genuine user feedback at multiple stages of the process. Outlined below are the key process steps and activities:
1. Qualitative Field Research (UK & US):
CIID designed a novel research approach that examined the networks of personal and professional support that emerge around individual patients. The result was a rich and emotional view into the complex interactions and relationships encompassing a patient’s journey with diabetes. By creating a research framework that looked beyond traditional modes of health care delivery, the approach provided the team with a more holistic view of diabetes management, enabling them to identify systemic gaps and define the opportunity for a community driven approach to diabetes care. CIID used a series of research tools to structure the interviews and give voice to the end user and tease out latent needs that are often unexpressed.
2. Concept Generation:
In order to generate a broad range of ideas around the opportunity areas defined, CIID hosted collaborative ideation workshops with key Novo Nordisk stakeholders. By working collaboratively with the client CIID Consulting were able to harness their knowledge and expertise of the context area during the ideation process. Following the workshops CIID synthesized the ideas and evaluated their potential against the primary goals of the project.
3. Scenario & Blueprint Development:
After developing the service concept CIID created use case scenarios for different patient profiles and illustrated the potential journey they would take through the Care Maps service. The scenarios were then transformed into a detailed service blueprint that outlined the user experience, physical and digital touchpoints, backend interactions and additional stakeholders that needed to be involved in order to execute the service. Creating a blueprint allowed CIID to see where there were gaps in the service and where the team could elevate or emphasis the critical service interactions.
4. Experience Prototyping:
In order to refine the service concept, paper prototypes of the key service touchpoints were created. These prototypes were taken into the field and tested with patients, healthcare professionals and community organisations in 3 US locations and in the UK. The prototypes were designed in such a manner that allowed the interview respondents to prioritize functionality and information within the service.
5. Concept Revision & Communication:
Based on the insights generated from the prototyping sessions the team refined the service blueprint and created a video prototype to communicate the detailed steps of the user experience. As part of this process CIID consulting created a visual identity for the service and designed high resolution prototypes of the key touchpoints.
6. Implementation Recommendations & Business Design:
Following a detailed design phase of the service platform CIID Consulting worked collaboratively with Novo Nordisk to develop a business strategy to ensure the service was sustainable. The team developed an implementation toolkit that included the service business model, a launch plan and a communication strategy for Novo Nordisk to share the new initiative internally.
As a service, Care Maps delivers value both on an individual and systemic level. On an individual level, the service elevates the emotional well-being of Type2 diabetes patients by encouraging positive health transformation through experiential care and allowing patients to model their own choices on those of more experienced peers. This is achieved in two primary ways:
1. Peer-to-peer and community interactions:
Care Maps partners with community organisations to identify and engage its existing members with diabetes to support each other. Experienced patients can become support peers to act as a coach or buddy for people newer to the condition or for those looking to make positive changes in their diabetes management.
2. Providing tools to support the practical needs associated with diabetes:
A digital platform enables members to build a personal Care Map that documents experiences they’ve had while managing their condition, personal health data, and health-positive resources in their community.
On a systemic level, Care Maps complements the structure of the established healthcare system by providing fluid and everyday support in between scheduled medical appointments when patients are self-managing. It supports the existing activities of the healthcare system by being a tool that primary physicians can recommend to their patients in order to equip them with the support needed to undertake personal health transformation. In the long-term, Care Maps has the potential to reduce healthcare costs for individuals and insurance providers by building patient capabilities and improving medical compliance.
The initial phase of Care Maps has the primary goal of building partnerships between Care Maps and chosen community organisations. Once these partnerships have been established, Care Maps will support the organisation to empower and recruit community members with diabetes to become support peers. Support peers will receive training from a CDE and the community relationship manager.
The second phase of the Care Maps user experience has touchpoints online and in the local community. The Care Maps website is an online community platform that facilitates connections between diabetic peers and enables individuals to build their own map of care. The website is closely connected to the local community and provides users with continuous support and connection with peers. During this phase the community would advertise Care Maps to its existing members, allowing them to set up their Care Map profile and create their own Care Map.
The final part of the Care Maps user experience works to reward and motivate the members by visualising individual and collaborative community results. On a systemic level, sustaining community collaborations is the focus.
The key leverage point of Care Maps is community engagement. This was established through field research, when the team saw that patients would often seek out community initiatives that were co-existing along side the established healthcare system, for support.
Working with existing community wellness organisations was a natural decision to make as they excel at bringing a diverse community of people together around a shared positive interest. They have the supporting ideals, infrastructure and qualified staff to help people make positive health transformations and their existing member base is likely to have some level of inherent motivation and readiness to change. Furthermore, in most cases they operate with a governing association and nationwide local branches, which allows them to reach large amounts of people of varying demographics, while still addressing hyper-local user needs. Community wellness organisations are also extremely successful in designing incentives that engage their audiences and promote long term participation.
In the context of Care Maps, the partnering community organisation would be equipped in order to identify, engage and coach its existing members with diabetes to support each other. Experienced patients would become support peers to act as coaches or buddies for people who are newer to the condition, or for those looking to make positive changes in their diabetes management. In both cases, Care Maps provides an opportunity to feel connected to and supported by others who are living with the condition. The physical space of partnering organisations also becomes a trusted venue to host organized Care Maps events and allow peers to connect in person and exchange experiences. This harnesses the inherent trust and belonging that people have when they are joined together through a shared interest.
The second leverage point is the Care Maps online platform. By complimenting the community engagement with a digital tool the user experience is extended and users can access the service at any point, when desired. The online platform enables members to build a personal Care Map that documents their local resources and the experiences they’ve had managing their diabetes. Members can track personal health data (diet, exercise and BG levels), set health transformation goals, and gain progress rewards. A Care Map becomes a tool to document their personal health transformation and acts as a shared reference for other people with diabetes. Additionally, the digital platform facilitates Care Maps members to communicate with each other, view each other’s progress and exchange motivational advice.
These two primary leverage points ultimately work together in order to facilitate peer-to-peer connections among diabetes patients.