skip to Main Content
design lab uc san diego dexcom automation

A New Partnership Seeks to Inject User Trust into Diabetes Management Technology

A New Partnership Seeks to Inject User Trust into Diabetes Management Technology

A New Partnership Seeks to Inject User Trust into Diabetes Management Technology

Advances in healthcare technology are revolutionizing the management of diabetes. Continuous glucose monitoring systems paired with automated insulin delivery pumps mean repeated finger sticks, blood testing and self-administered insulin injections are quickly becoming things of the past.

While on one hand automation means freedom—giving some diabetics more options to fit their busy lifestyles than ever before—it also brings new issues for patients and caregivers alike. One of these issues is trust.

(DIY Designer OpenAPS “rig” – Courtesy of OpenAPS founder Dana Lewis)

A new partnership between the UC San Diego Design Lab and Dexcom is tackling the trust issue with a pilot project that aims to understand, measure and design for trust in healthcare automation.

“Rapid technological advances in the automation of insulin delivery offer tremendous promise for people living with the disease. Engendering the right level of trust in these new technologies is critical,” said Tomas C. Walker, Senior U.S. Medical Director with Dexcom. “Dexcom is committed to improving the lives of people living with diabetes and we are proud to partner with UCSD on this project.”

Medical Technology Designed for People

The team, led by Eliah Aronoff-Spencer, director of the Center for Health Design, Design Lab fellow Lars Mueller and Ben West, a project manager at Dexcom and diabetes patient himself, is re-thinking how healthcare technology is designed.

“When we speak of trust in relation to healthcare automation, we mean the willingness to rely on a device, accepting some vulnerability, with the expectation of a positive outcome,” Mueller explained. “Technology is unlikely to be used if not trusted. We have to understand and measure how trust is formed to build systems that not only work, but are used in the complexity of daily life.”

To do this, they are integrating human-centered design methods that place the needs of people at the forefront. The first step is listening to diabetics to understand their daily challenges, as well as what’s working.

During the first year of the pilot project, Aronoff-Spencer and Mueller are busy in their lab at the Qualcomm Institute gathering and analyzing feedback from dozens of patients, their families, caregivers and others. Once finished, they will begin creating and delivering the next generation of user-centered products alongside Dexcom.

“People struggle with this disease every day. And while our ultimate goal is to cure diabetes, which will take time, the next best step is to make it as manageable and invisible as possible,” Aronoff-Spencer said. “Delivering technology that works with people, and that people trust will work for them, is a significant step forward and one that’s incredibly exciting.”

For more information on this project and the Center for Health Design, visit http://c4h.ucsd.edu/.

Advances in healthcare technology are revolutionizing the management of diabetes. Continuous glucose monitoring systems paired with automated insulin delivery pumps mean repeated finger sticks, blood testing and self-administered insulin injections are quickly becoming things of the past.

While on one hand automation means freedom—giving some diabetics more options to fit their busy lifestyles than ever before—it also brings new issues for patients and caregivers alike. One of these issues is trust.

(DIY Designer OpenAPS “rig” – Courtesy of OpenAPS founder Dana Lewis)

A new partnership between the UC San Diego Design Lab and Dexcom is tackling the trust issue with a pilot project that aims to understand, measure and design for trust in healthcare automation.

“Rapid technological advances in the automation of insulin delivery offer tremendous promise for people living with the disease. Engendering the right level of trust in these new technologies is critical,” said Tomas C. Walker, Senior U.S. Medical Director with Dexcom. “Dexcom is committed to improving the lives of people living with diabetes and we are proud to partner with UCSD on this project.”

Medical Technology Designed for People

The team, led by Eliah Aronoff-Spencer, director of the Center for Health Design, Design Lab fellow Lars Mueller and Ben West, a project manager at Dexcom and diabetes patient himself, is re-thinking how healthcare technology is designed.

“When we speak of trust in relation to healthcare automation, we mean the willingness to rely on a device, accepting some vulnerability, with the expectation of a positive outcome,” Mueller explained. “Technology is unlikely to be used if not trusted. We have to understand and measure how trust is formed to build systems that not only work, but are used in the complexity of daily life.”

To do this, they are integrating human-centered design methods that place the needs of people at the forefront. The first step is listening to diabetics to understand their daily challenges, as well as what’s working.

During the first year of the pilot project, Aronoff-Spencer and Mueller are busy in their lab at the Qualcomm Institute gathering and analyzing feedback from dozens of patients, their families, caregivers and others. Once finished, they will begin creating and delivering the next generation of user-centered products alongside Dexcom.

“People struggle with this disease every day. And while our ultimate goal is to cure diabetes, which will take time, the next best step is to make it as manageable and invisible as possible,” Aronoff-Spencer said. “Delivering technology that works with people, and that people trust will work for them, is a significant step forward and one that’s incredibly exciting.”

For more information on this project and the Center for Health Design, visit http://c4h.ucsd.edu/.

Advances in healthcare technology are revolutionizing the management of diabetes. Continuous glucose monitoring systems paired with automated insulin delivery pumps mean repeated finger sticks, blood testing and self-administered insulin injections are quickly becoming things of the past.

While on one hand automation means freedom—giving some diabetics more options to fit their busy lifestyles than ever before—it also brings new issues for patients and caregivers alike. One of these issues is trust.

(DIY Designer OpenAPS “rig” – Courtesy of OpenAPS founder Dana Lewis)

A new partnership between the UC San Diego Design Lab and Dexcom is tackling the trust issue with a pilot project that aims to understand, measure and design for trust in healthcare automation.

“Rapid technological advances in the automation of insulin delivery offer tremendous promise for people living with the disease. Engendering the right level of trust in these new technologies is critical,” said Tomas C. Walker, Senior U.S. Medical Director with Dexcom. “Dexcom is committed to improving the lives of people living with diabetes and we are proud to partner with UCSD on this project.”

Medical Technology Designed for People

The team, led by Eliah Aronoff-Spencer, director of the Center for Health Design, Design Lab fellow Lars Mueller and Ben West, a project manager at Dexcom and diabetes patient himself, is re-thinking how healthcare technology is designed.

“When we speak of trust in relation to healthcare automation, we mean the willingness to rely on a device, accepting some vulnerability, with the expectation of a positive outcome,” Mueller explained. “Technology is unlikely to be used if not trusted. We have to understand and measure how trust is formed to build systems that not only work, but are used in the complexity of daily life.”

To do this, they are integrating human-centered design methods that place the needs of people at the forefront. The first step is listening to diabetics to understand their daily challenges, as well as what’s working.

During the first year of the pilot project, Aronoff-Spencer and Mueller are busy in their lab at the Qualcomm Institute gathering and analyzing feedback from dozens of patients, their families, caregivers and others. Once finished, they will begin creating and delivering the next generation of user-centered products alongside Dexcom.

“People struggle with this disease every day. And while our ultimate goal is to cure diabetes, which will take time, the next best step is to make it as manageable and invisible as possible,” Aronoff-Spencer said. “Delivering technology that works with people, and that people trust will work for them, is a significant step forward and one that’s incredibly exciting.”

For more information on this project and the Center for Health Design, visit http://c4h.ucsd.edu/.

Read Next

Design Lab Amy Fox Gordon Research Grant

Design Lab’s Amy Fox Awarded Gordon Research Conference Visionary Grant

Emerging developments in data visualization, the practice of visually communicating data to convey patterns and…

UCSD & Design Lab Students Participate In The Civic Digital Fellowship Program

UCSD & Design Lab Students participate in The Civic Digital Fellowship Program

Irene Guo, Neve Foresti, and Eric Richards, former and current UC San Diego Design Lab students, participated in the Civic Digital Fellowship Program, a ten-week program that equips students in different fields of technology (from data scientists to designers) to utilize their technical skills for public service; these students are referred to as Civic Digital Fellows. This program is the very first of its kind, and is modeled on four principles: the fellows must be compensated for their hard work through monetary gains, they tackle work with a high impact, their professional careers are developed, and finally, their community is cohort-based. 

How They Got There: Janet Johnson

Graduate student Janet Johnson is currently working towards her doctorate degree in Computer Science, while also conducting HCI research in the UCSD Design Lab, primarily focusing on XR (extended reality).

So, what is Johnson’s research?  Johnson conducts HCI research, primarily focusing on XR. As Johnson describes it, “XR is an umbrella term for augmented reality, augmented virtuality, mixed reality, and virtual reality.” She says to think of it as a spectrum where one end is the real world alone, the other is complete virtual reality, and everything in between is varying mixes of the two. Johnson’s research primarily focuses on this mixed middle ground. “The majority of my research focuses on how we can use mixed reality or extended reality to help a novice…get help from an expert.” She then poses the example of both surgery and CPR. Johnson’s research explores ways for an expert to provide instructions to the novice as if though they were in the same room. Her goal is to help bridge the distance between novices and experts, both physically and skill wise, while also decreasing the amount of time a person receives aid. “By the time a medical personnel arrives at the scene, it’s already been 7 to 10 minutes, so each minute counts for the person’s life,” she explains. “You don’t have time in that 10 minutes to train the people around to be able to do CPR or any other sort of resuscitation, same with surgery.” 

As Johnson continues to conduct her research in this field, she’s excited for what the future holds for this technology and the ways she can contribute to it.  

An Introduction to Bill Fulton, The Design Lab’s Visiting Policy Designer

An Introduction to Bill Fulton, The Design Lab’s Visiting Policy Designer How might we help…

UCSD Giving Day

Giving Day Begins Now. Support the Design Lab Today

Through the integration of education, research and community development, The Design Lab is committed to advancing the best practices needed to solve the world's complex problems through the lens of human-centered design.  One way we do this is through our thriving Design@Large speaker series.  Via conversations with distinguished academic, industry, and community design leaders, Design@Large showcases the ever-evolving, interdisciplinary nature of design as applied in real world contexts.  Today we are asking for your specific help to continue to build and grow this popular series which is open to all.
Design Lab Uc San Diego Don Norman Creative Education

Rethinking Design Education

Don Norman, Design Lab Director

The Challenge

The requirements of the 21st century are quite different than those of earlier years. New needs continually arise, along with new tools, technologies, and materials. Designers are starting to address some of the major societal issues facing the planet. Does design education prepare them to work with and lead the multidisciplinary teams required to work on these complex sociotechnical systems?

The Origins

We are embarking on a serious effort to rethink design education for the 21st century. We started with the multiple thoughtful articles in two special issues of the journal She Ji on design education (download from our website). This inspired us to assemble a team of senior designers from academia and business to serve as a steering committee to start a large effort to rethink design education.
Back To Top