Self Aware

Novo Nordisk is a healthcare company and a world leader in diabetes care. Recently they developed a new drug called GLP1 that will help tackle obesity. Becacuse obesity is one of the biggest causes of type 2 diabetes, if used correctly the drug will reduce the chance of developing the disease. However for the drug to work effectively people that will take it, also have to combine it with a lifestyle modification plan.

Novo Nordisk came to CIID and gave us a two week brief to design elements of what this plan could be for American women aged 25-40yrs. Instead of starting with initial user research as normal we were given a one day intense knowledge boost on diabetes, obesity and Novo’s role and were then asked to choose a pre-defined design challenge to take straight into the ideation phase.

Design Challenge
Self-monitoring is the most effective technique for weight loss as the person has the experience of feeling in control, making their own decisions and learning about their relationship between their body and mind.

“A recent study showed that people that kept a food diary enjoyed double the weight loss of those who solely relied on dieting and exercise”

How might we design a system that will motivate and allow people to become more aware of their eating and exercising habits, help them achieve weight lose goals and adapt and to changes in their lifestyle over time?

The Concept
Self Aware is a system that provides a multimedia diary tool that records an individuals food consumptions and exercise patterns, it allows one to reflect in the moment and over time. The idea is based on the premise that reflection on personal food consumption and exercise routines, leads to an understanding of behaviour and eventually a change in lifestyle.

How it works
The system works by using photographs and audio on the Self Aware device/ smart phone application to create a digital log of your eating and exercise habits.

There are four parts of the application and online software:

1. Action Aware is the logging feature of the Self Aware system. It uses a built in camera and voice recorder to detect and capture what the user is doing. By having an integrated clock it instantly recognises what time they are doing certain activities at, making it easy to find patterns in their behaviour.

2. Guide Aware provides the user with recommended eating and exercise plans to follow. These are customised to their specific needs, goals and progress. The plans are available on their online profile and can be downloaded to their smartphone, so they can access them on the move.

3. Advice Aware allows you to receive advice and support from your dietitian or even a buddy. The users online profile acts as a platform for them to receive messages and guidance. Their dietitian can also log in to their public profile at any time and track their patients weekly activities and progress.

4. Reflect Aware is part of the system that is only for the user, They can log into their private profile and view all the information they have recorded in a movie format. They can even give their weeks ratings and use them as a personal guide.

Why is it valuable?
By actively recording eating and exercise habits in a simple yet engaging way, the user will become more aware of their habits, and where specific problems may lie.

By creating this understanding and period of reflection with the user they can then understand where they need to make changes to improve their lifestyle to help achieve their weight lose goals.

This system creates a high level of autonomy for the user, giving them a sense of ownership and a feeling of responsibility for their actions. This will greatly reduce the amount of time needed to spend with a dietitian, which is often very time consuming and costly. The system creates a platform for people participating in the lifestyle modification program to become independent in achieving their goals.

Experience Prototyping
To test the experience of recording your eating and exercise habits, we created an experience prototype by giving two people digital cameras that they had to carry with them and record what they were eating/exercising, where they were and how they felt. This exercise was to understand what it was like for people to actively record their habits and reflect on this. The videos show some of the results.