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Diabetes is rapidly affecting millions of Americans. When the disease is uncontrolled, it can cause a myriad of complications. This includes heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney disease, nerve damage, infections and amputations of the feet. Not only do these complications reduce one's quality of life, they are also expensive to treat and place a financial burden on patients and our healthcare system.


A patient's A1c blood sugar level indicates how well their body is able to manage diabetes. The level also determines whether the patient is at risk for complications. Kaiser Permanente wanted to reduce the number of patients suffering from uncontrolled diabetes and complications.


This project explored:

  • How do patients feel about their diabetes care?

  • What is it like for providers to care for patients with diabetes?

  • How might we design a system to help patients and providers work in partnership?

I want a quick start to get a patient on insulin.  The window of opportunity to get patients on insulin is small. There are too many options available.  We don’t have time to figure out which option to use.  Is my nurse here?  Is the care manager here?  Is the nurse manager here?  A lot has to do with conveniences.  We want one way to expeditiously help a patient get on insulin. We need it within access within a week or less - or it is too late.


Primary Care Physician, Northern California

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