This was a two week Industry Project done in collaboration with Novo Nordisk

Changing Diabetes Through Social Media

Novo Nordisk, traditionally a provider of insulin and injection systems, is not currently active within treatment support and services for diabetes. However, as more and more Novo devices become electronic in the future, the gate to digital communication is open.

Online social networks currently provide a platform for knowledge sharing, developing a sense of community, conversation, expert opinions, awareness, self diagnoses and general sharing/venting of personal experiences. In this two week workshop, Novo Nordisk challenged the Interaction Design Programme students to change diabetes through social media.

Diabetes type 1 patients are typically diagnosed as children. By the time they are 18 they are experienced diabetics and aptly connected online. Social support groups are among one of the best available practices to encourage adherence to a treatment regimen and healthy lifestyle with diabetes. There is already a large number of mobile phone apps, web-based portals, blogs and message boards that strive to create a digital community and set of management tools for diabetes patients.

Social networks and social media play a huge role in the lives of young people in today, but these networks and tools do not come without their challenges when taken into the healthcare realm. Doctor/patient privacy laws, trust, accuracy, liability and the general fragmentation of healthcare systems and providers must not be ignored.

Managing diabetes is a life time commitment involving not just the patient but an interconnected web of people surrounding the patient. Family, friends, educators, peers, doctors, nutritionists, various specialists and other patients all play a key role in a lifestyle of a diabetes patient.


Cordy Swope, Julia Frederking, Nina Christoffersen