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28th April 2023


Transforming diabetes care landscape through innovation: A person centred approach

Exploring the impact of innovative solutions on the experiences of people living with diabetes in Scotland.

Transforming diabetes care through innovation is an on-going project undertaken by DHI on behalf of the Scottish Health and Industry Partnership (SHIP) and Scottish Diabetes Innovation and Technology Group to seek an understanding of the current diabetes innovation landscape and future priorities for innovation.

The project builds on early research undertaken by DHI which asked professionals and people with Diabetes to identify key challenges facing Diabetes Care Services across NHS Scotland.

This design led project aims to capture insights and learning to gain an understanding of current innovations being undertaken in Scotland and how these might impact on the experiences of people living with diabetes in the next five years.

It will identify gaps in the Diabetes Care Landscape and the findings will go on to inform future open innovation calls by the Scottish Government in 2023, ensuring the impact is maximised and person centred.

Four Design-Led Workshops Across Scotland

Four design-led workshops have been held across Scotland to explore the challenges facing people living with diabetes and the professionals who support them. The workshops brought together healthcare professionals and people with lived experience to engage with the current innovation landscape, share insight from their experiences, generate ideas and determine the priorities for future innovation.

Separate workshops were held for type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as our initial research (a Survey and interviews with people living with diabetes, health professionals and innovators) highlighted differing priorities and the need for a separate approach to innovation. Workshops were held in Glasgow and the Highlands to explore the different challenges faced in rural and urban settings and the potential that digital holds to overcome them.

“It’s unfortunate they (type 1 and type 2 diabetes) share a name as they are starting from somewhere completely different.” – Workshop participant

Diabetes Innovation Landscape Map and Prioritisation Activity

A diabetes innovation landscape map was created to offer a visual interpretation of the vast array of innovations and acted as the basis for discussion. A prioritisation activity invited participants to individually reflect on the challenges they felt needed most investment. Participants co-created an innovation brief that reflected what was important to them and framed the challenges they felt that, if tackled by innovators, would have the most impact.

To date, key challenges identified include the need for more robust mental health support for people living with diabetes, the role of data and digital technologies to improve experiences, the need for more support for lifestyle changes and education, and the aspiration for more flexible and person-centred care pathways.

“People can’t engage in healthy behaviour if they are anxious or depressed. The foundation of diabetes care is self-care or management.” - Workshop participant

Next Steps: Virtual Workshops and Industry Engagement

We are delving into the detail and analysing the rich insights and ideas generated through these in-person sessions. Our next engagement will be a virtual workshop, aiming to share and build on the work to date and engage with people living with diabetes and healthcare professionals who could not attend in-person sessions. We will also hold a session which seeks to engage with representatives from industry to gather their feedback on the diabetes innovation landscape, and the challenges from their perspective.

If you would be interested in attending either event or the eventual findings of this project, please look out for future updates on the DHI website and join our network.

Author: Charlotte Stoney, Graduate Innovation Intern, Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre

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