DiaLog & PennyD

DiaLog and PennyD is a service to smoothen the transition phase for people freshly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

How it works

A toolkit consisting of a recording device (PennyD) and a connected application (DiaLog) is provided to newly diagnosed patients by their doctor at the clinic.

PennyD, an audio recorder disguised as a pen, is used by the patient to directly record experiences related to their life with diabetes. These are then marked on a scale ranging from negative to positive.

On the one hand, these could be practical questions, doubts or worries, but, on the other hand, also “little victories” and moments that they are proud of. Each entry is time-stamped and saved by the device.

DiaLog, the digital platform, retrieves and visualizes these time-stamped recorded moments. Reflection is encouraged by having the user sort through and categorize the entries using the application.

Through the act of sorting, rearranging and categorizing the entries, the application helps patients put their thoughts into perspective and prioritize them based on their ability to manage them effectively.

By sorting and categorising, the patient can also better grasp what they might feel a need to communicate to a peer or a health-care professional. As such, DiaLog and PennyD also serve as a communication tool to that helps patients tell their “story” to others.


When diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, one can still stay off insulin injections for many years, but to keep the condition from worsening, it requires major lifestyle changes. Such changes can be both frustrating and confusing and patients often need help with managing and sorting their thoughts.

In our research, we found that effective reflection on one’s lifestyle requires a certain sense of “distance” in order to put things into perspective. The reality of diabetes is that it is not a “binary” disease, with absolute “right” or “wrong” decisions and the mental effects these choicse are unique to each patient and will change over time.

This makes measuring “success” and “failures”, particularly in the early stages of the disease, particularly challenging. Also, communicating these difficulties can be difficult. Being conscious about these thoughts and anxieties can be necessary in order to process and manage them as one goes along.

These insights were taken into consideration as we designed DiaLog + PennyD. We wanted to focus on these “non-numerical” aspects of the diabetes which seems to be a psychological disease as much as it is physical.