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

Recycling

I’m an expert on complex design systems. Even I can’t figure out recycling.

Part 1 of a FastCompany editorial on Recycling by Don Norman

Recycling: The concept is pretty simple. Throw away stuff that can be melted down, chopped up, and made back into useful stuff. The problem is, I don’t understand how to do it.

For one, it’s difficult to find out what can and cannot be recycled. There are so many different kinds of paper goods, plastics, and metals, and worst of all, so many things that are combinations of materials or exotic new inventions of material science, that no list could possibly include every possible case. Secondly, the rules vary from location to location, and even at one location they can change from year to year. (“Check frequently with your recycler to see what their current requirements are,” reads one of the websites that tries to be helpful.)

Faculty Positions in Human-Centered Design at the UC San Diego Design Lab (Assistant and Associate Professor)

The Design Lab at UC San Diego (https://designlab.ucsd.edu) seeks candidates fortenure-track Assistant Professor and tenured Associate Professor faculty positions across multiple disciplines to begin July 1, 2022.

Assistant Professor, Design Lab: https://apol-recruit.ucsd.edu/JPF03086
Associate Professor, Design Lab: https://apol-recruit.ucsd.edu/JPF03085
Design Lab Michele Morris Greg Horowitt Scale

Smart Cities: Urban Innovation & Design Thinking

UC San Diego Design Lab Associate Director Michèle Morris recently joined venture capitalist, entrepreneur and…

Postdoc Researcher Zhutian Chen is Visualizing Data in Augmented Reality

Currently a postdoctoral researcher at the UC San Diego Design Lab and at the Creativity Lab, Zhutian Chen describes what he does as visualizing data in an augmented reality environment. Chen seeks to visualize data “beyond the desktop” and to “allow the user to interact with [the data].” 

Before joining the Design Lab, Chen originally earned his B.S. in Computer Software Engineering at the South China University of Technology, eventually earning his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. During his time as an undergraduate, Chen was given the opportunity to intern for Microsoft Research as a research assistant where he discovered his newfound interest in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). 

“Before my internship in Microsoft Research, I think [I was] more interested in doing research related to data mining and machine learning,” says Chen. “However, I [found] out that HCI is much more interesting because it makes you engage the human.” 
Tricia Ngoon

Tricia Ngoon, UCSD & Design Lab PhD Graduate, Discusses “Adaptive Conceptual Guidance”

Currently, in the spotlight of Tricia Ngoon’s research and involvement with The Design Lab is her recently accepted paper, Shöwn: Adaptive Conceptual Guidance Aids Example Use in Creative Tasks, which will appear in the Designing Interactive Systems virtual conference this summer, 2021. Her research hypothesizes that providing “adaptive conceptual guidance” will improve a person’s implementation of examples within creative work, as opposed to providing a static example. Using the domain of web comics, “[researchers in the study] present concepts to people alongside examples as they work.” Ngoon adds that “It’s essentially a step towards coaching. For example, if [a person is] working on a comic you might present a concept to consider the framing or kind of the composition of the panel and then [show] examples of different types of framing and composition.” Ultimately, her research concluded that “these adaptive suggestions as a person is working in context really help with making a clear and more unique story. It kind of changes the way they look at their ideas because they are more likely to explore different [ones].” 

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.  
Back To Top