GP in USA
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Understanding Diabetes in USA

Understanding Diabetes in USA

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2010

Design Researcher, CIID Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design

USA

Client: Novo Nordisk

Earlier projects with Novo Nordisk had generated  insights into patient needs, opportunities and barriers to care in  USA but also a deep, yet fragmented insight into the healthcare mechanisms in the country in the context of diabetes treatment.

The project  dived deep into understanding this specific area by talking to General Practitioners (GPs), studying regional variations in healthcare policies, the effect of insurance policies in the choice of treatments both by the GP and the patient and revisiting our earlier  interviews with numerous healthcare providers in USA. The role of the General Practitioners (GP) is key for people to stay on their treatment, modify their habits and diest and remain motivated to stay consistent. Positive reinforcement was vital. We helped their teams realise that a patient support system that addressed their individual needs was important for effective therapy.

The research culminated in a larger vision setting for Novo Nordisk to understand how they could help build this support system in USA where state support was fragmented and rather regional.

obesity
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Understanding Weight Management

Understanding Weight Management

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2009

Design Researcher, CIID Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design

USA

Client: Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk wanted to understand how people managed weight loss in a nation challenged by obesity for their new drug delivery system.

The project  posed a very challenging research strategy as speaking to people about their obese condition is not an easy task. Research in such a sensitive area demanded an direct approach to enquiry, more informed by longitudinal observation and reactions. The project hinged on one of the key topics in healthcare today: patient compliance. While a holistic understanding of what the healthcare system in USA provides for the support and systematic combat of this condition, it was even more important to understand an individual’s ecosytem, how they thought about their condition, coped with social stigma and what measures they took over time to deal with the situation. The study involved spending hours with obese people as they went about their everyday activities like cooking, eating, shopping for groceries, spending time with family, at work and visited their healthcare providers.

The insights from this research had a deep,  micro-level approach to innovation and product application. It has informed Novo Nordisk of the need of service strategies, new therapy delivery systems from packaging and product design to dispensing models to effectively address the weight loss therapy market. It also pointed out the significant need for healthcare professionals to be able to find and use the right strategies to suit a patient’s health, practical and emotional needs.

Read my travelogue here.

Diabetes india
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Understanding Living with Diabetes

Understanding Living with Diabetes

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2008

Design Researcher, CIID Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design

Client: Novo Nordisk

The aim of the project was to travel to India, China and USA and understand what it meant to be a diabetic and live with the life-long condition there.

Diabetes is a huge health challenge world over and Novo Nordisk is a world leader in developing insulin delivery systems for diabetes. But the current explosion of diabetes to epidemic proportions all over the world,  has meant that new social trends and health tendencies need to be understood for Novo Nordisk to continue developing relevant solutions. It needed a contextual understanding of how diabetics cope with managing diabetes, acceptance of medication, the role of their healthcare providers, support from the family etc. Our research confirmed the fact that insulin is part of the solution, but not the entire solution, and this led Novo to consider other kinds of initiatives that would positively influence people’s lifestyles. Local infrastructure, both at a city scale and personal homes, personal health beliefs, peer pressures and superstitions, insurance mechanisms, state support and family- all affected how a patient coped with his treatment. Treatment was available but not always accessible.

We helped them shape their perspectives of working in emerging economies and future product strategies with clear, rich cultural insights and feedback.

This project was the beginning of a series of projects I worked with CIID and Novo Nordisk as it spawned many ideas to future products, services and the more profound role they could play in helping diabetics cope with their condition beyond insulin delivery.

Read my travelogue here

 

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Design for New Markets

Design for New Markets

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2008

Lead Designer , Export Strategy Consultant

Client: Ministry of Textiles, Thirubhuvanam Silk Weavers Cooperative, Tamil Nadu.

The Thirubhuvanam Silk Weaver’s Cooperative has been a key producer of highest quality silk saris in this region. The cooperative is best known for its use of pure zari (gold thread) and dyeing quality. The cooperative was the only of its kind to be ISO 9001:2008 certified.

While these silk saris have a reasonable local market, the future is clearly a dilemma between dwindling number of skilled artisans and rising cost of silks and gold  (used in the zari). The Ministry of Textiles identified this cooperative as one that had immense potential and has supported and funded this Export Promotion Project at the Cooperative to improve their product portfolio for new markets with product diversification. The project involved assessing their current skills and strengths of this cooperative and coming up with a design strategy to reach out to new markets. I have worked with this cooperative at two market levels – diversified product range for the local markets (India) and development of new fabric weights for export. This was mainly for the luxury contract market in Europe.

The challenge for design intervention was beyond just producing new designs. Weaver motivation in this cooperative has been the biggest issue. Inspite of using existing infrastructure for weaving (thus reducing technology investment costs), weavers clearly voted for weaving zari products as their wages were surprisingly  linked to this.

Over a hundred new design collections of home textiles were produced for this project over a period of 4 years which were woven subsequently and presented at various international fairs.

Many reports and Recommendations were written to the Planning Commission after this project to help form a better support […]

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Strategic Design Intervention for Weaving Clusters

Strategic Design Intervention for Weaving Clusters

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2005

Lead Designer & Coordinator, Design Cell Chennai

Client: Ministry of Textiles & National Institute of Design, India.

The Strategic Design Intervention for Cluster Development Project  in Tamil Nadu was lead by the National Institute of Design, India. I was chosen to be their Lead designer for the duration of this project for 3 years

The Project started with intensive field trips to 5 clusters (Cuddalore, Gudiyatham, Thirubhuvanam, Vilanthai, Woraiyur) in Tamil Nadu and studying them over a period of months to understand weaver potentials, skill level, infrastructure availability and possibilities of introducing new concepts and eventually create teams of weavers who would weave a pilot run of our new designs.

Design intervention was planned at various levels from improving yarn qualities to new, sustainable dyeing practices, understanding weaver aspirations to creating a strategy for motivating them towards change. During this period, they were introduced to new softwares to help them design and visualise their products and theywe re advised on how they could avail of such services locally. They were also introduced to low-tech visualising methods and were shown a wide spectrum of examples and best practices in the handloom sector from all over the country for inspiration.

Introduction to natural dyeing was carried out as small workshops in each cluster.

Read more about my travels and the project here.