User-centred Healthcare Design National Institute for Health Research logo

Diabetes Dragons’ Den 01/02/2012

On 22nd November we ran a creative workshop based on the television programme Dragons’ Den but with a twist. The workshop aimed to translate previously developed blue-sky ideas into more grounded and practical ones. To do this, Dragons not only questioned the ideas that were presented, they also sat with their chosen “entrepreneurs” and helped them develop their ideas.

One group of young people developed an idea called “Safety-net”, where a wrist-implanted blood glucose meter sends messages to various televisions and other screens in the home to warn of health problems. Another young people’s group developed an idea called “Tear-free testing”, proposing that a person with type 1 diabetes could wear a contact lens with embedded advanced electronics that constantly measure the glucose levels in their tears and provide a discreet indicator to others by changing colour.

The UCHD designers proposed the “DiaBuddies” concept that brought together medical expertise from the NHS and personal expertise from others living with type 1 Diabetes. This idea combined several tools for getting support and information accessed through smart phone apps, text messages and Facebook. Finally a group of parents developed the “D-Net Chemists” concept, a service that connects people with Diabetes with a network of pharmacists to get medication and support if needed when they are away from home. To bring their presentations to life, groups used various objects that they had made such as cardboard computer screens or cartoon glasses.

Groups presented their ideas to four Dragons with good experience of where the ideas might be used: NHS Senior Manager Mark Cobb; Design and Technology Teacher Russell Fisher; Senior Diabetes Consultant Simon Heller; and Boots Superstore Manager James Stout.

Following the presentations and questions from the Dragons, each Dragon chose to “invest” in one group and spent time with them exploring the best features of their ideas, and identifying practical hurdles and possible improvements based on their experience.

In general the Dragons were very positive about the ideas and surprised about their innovativeness. The young people and parents were also encouraged by presenting their ideas to external experts and by hearing their helpful comments and suggestions.

3 Comments

  • [...] [...]

    User-centred healthcare design (UCHD) » ‘Whose Diabetes…?’ exhibit on tour
    June 19th, 2012
  • [...] UCHD presentation was well received, with particular interest in the ‘blue sky’ ideas generated by the young participants from Rotherham and Barnsley and the way in which they [...]

    User-centred healthcare design (UCHD) » ICL conference City University London
    June 27th, 2012
  • [...] [...]

    User-centred healthcare design (UCHD) » ‘Whose diabetes…?’ exhibition
    July 5th, 2012

Upcoming events

There are currently no events. If you know about an event you think we'd be interested in, please let us know.

Latest updates

Mark's dry powder inhaler concept featured in Med-Tech magazine
Leading publication picks up on innovative inhaler design

South CHI 2013
Helena presents at a new HCI conference in Maribor, Slovenia

Design4Health conference and exhibition 2013
UCHD and NIHR CLAHRC-SY sponsor successful Design4Health conference and exhibiton.

'Methods of Working with Teenagers in Interaction Design' - a workshop at the CHI2013 Conference, Paris
Helena took part in the workshop, presenting a short paper related to UCHD's 'Young People with Diabetes' project

What's happening in BSBD
A short update on our Better Services by Design activity