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How might we give caregivers of children with type-1 diabetes the confidence and support they need?



Northwestern EDI Graduate Program // One Community



To help caregivers of children with type-1 diabetes build the confidence and find the support they need, OneCommunity is an app that creates opportunities for caregivers to create community, track their child's carb intake, and further educate themselves.

Key Observations

Through talking to many caregivers of children with type-1 diabetes, I learned that they have 3 primary needs:

1. Confidence: Caregivers need to feel confident that they are performing the right tasks and not doing anything that can potentially harm their child. This is especially difficult when their child gets newly diagnosed with type-1 diabetes as the caregivers are now responsible for many tasks, such as counting carbs and giving insulin shots, that they have no prior experience with.

2. Community:  When first learning of their child's diagnosis, many caregivers feel isolated, as if they are the only ones who have to go through this change and learn to deal with it. Many caregivers searched for different ways to form a community that they could relate to or seek advice from.

3. Reliable Education:  While education was received from clinical professionals with medically ‘correct’ information,  caregivers face real-life scenarios that do not follow the sterile routines laid out by their doctors. Therefore, they search for advice and tips from other reliable sources, such as other caregivers because of the mutual understanding of the stress associated with the role and notion that real life can be messy.

Project Process

Contextual Interviews with Users and Stakeholders

Synthesis and Frameworks

Prototyping, Validation, and Iteration

To learn more about type-1 diabetes, I first completed in-depth secondary research in the space by reading a variety of articles. I also spoke with endocrinologists and diabetic nurse educators. I then conducted in-depth 1:1 conversations with both children and young adults with type-1 diabetes and caregivers whose children are recently diagnosed or has been diagnosed for over 2 years.

To understand everything I learned, I clustered all of the raw observations into themes and then need statements. These groupings helped me align what my key areas of focus are and what the primary needs of the caregivers are.  To display these opportunity areas, I developed frameworks, such as a 2 x 2 and journey map.

After I focused on specific areas of the journey and specific caregiver needs, I developed low-fidelity prototypes that were then put in front of caregivers of children with type-1 diabetes. Based on their feedback, the prototypes were iterated on and pushed to a higher-fidelity for a final walkthrough.

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