The Elephant Method

The Elephant Method is a service and a framework that helps newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients to improve their well-being. This is accomplished by connecting them with experienced mentors – people who have learned to successfully live with their type 2 diabetes – that are motivated to share their stories and expertise. It provides a framework in which the mentors help newly diagnosed patients to identify areas in which they would like to improve their life and help them get there in incremental steps.

During our user research and interviews, we gained insights around some prevalent issues around providing care and treatment for people living with type 2 diabetes. In many cases, there is a general lack of information and empathy and it led us to re-define Novo Nordisk’s Rule of Halves with a more people-centered objective in mind.

All of the people we interviewed indicated that the point of diagnosis is often lacking in support and information. There is limited time with the doctor and the demand to get access to specialized institutions far outstrips the supply. While conducting our research, we were inspired by the patients that volunteered their time and energy to tell us their stories, to help us formulate concepts that are based on real patient experiences.

Upon further review and reflection of our research, we realized that there are three elements that people who have learned to live well with their diabetes can offer to newly diagnosed people with diabetes – empathy, experience and expertise. The next steps were then determining where these three E’s could be utilized within the Rule of Halves and what the potential touchpoints would be – at the point of diagnosis, connecting to the mentor and the setting and managing of goals in small incremental steps.