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Sweetcycle

The App That Tracks Blood Glucose

‘Sweetcycle’ is an app prototype which monitors blood sugar levels in Type one Diabetics. The app connects with a sensor, Freestyle Libre by scanning it on the upper arm. The app then displays the amount of sugar in the users blood via subcutaneous fluid.

Type one Diabetes is a chronic auto-immune disease which affects 400,000 people in the U.K. The disease is not well-known due to falling under the umbrella term, ‘diabetes’ – often referring to Type two. There is no cure for Type one however it can be treated through adminstering insulin and frequently checking blood sugars. Type one diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults. The demographic for ‘Sweetcycle’ being young adults.

I created this brief for my major project as I recognised the recent advances in the treatment of Type one Diabetes and trends towards virtual care. During my research, it became apparent that mental health plays a pivotal role in the health of a Diabetic. Stress in

Type one Diabetics can lead to a 20% deviation of blood sugars, whilst blood sugars themselves cause stress and anxiety. The disease can quickly become a vicious cycle, leaving the individual feeling overwhelmed. Unfortunately, apps which track blood sugar are so data driven that this aspect of care often goes overlooked. As we venture into the new world of virtual care, apps will have to perform through data visualisation whilst providing a kind and engaging platform for the user.

The NHS plans to provide a complete virtual service by 2030, however due to Covid-19, it is evident a system like this is more crucial than ever. Type one requires intense monitoring by the user to avoid serious long and short term health conditions. It is critical that anyone with a chronic auto-immune disease can access services whilst in isolation. Sweetcycle has challenged me as a designer due to the ethical responsibilities and personal aspect of the project.

 

 

 

Features

Visual change in reaction to data

The app changes colour based on your readings to signify high (purple), normal (red) and low (yellow) blood sugars.

 

Graphs: Horizontal orientation & Scale

Flip your phone and use our scale up button (x4) for an even closer look at your daily data and data patterns.

In-depth data comparisons

Flip the patterns graph to view the horizontal layout and compare averages over multiple time spans. 

 

Tag blood glucose readings

Tag the data readings with icons to help detect patterns in your blood glucose levels.

Community & Ethos

We recognise the demanding nature type one diabetes has on mental and physical health. The app encourages Type one Diabetics to engage with their blood glucose through a friendly interface, whilst notifications and a weekly report alert the user of live blood glucose readings and new patterns found in their data.

Sweetcycle also provides a wider platform for Type one Diabetics to get involved in social and charity events, in order to broaden support networks and raise awareness.  

 

Iconography

Educational Posters & Blood Glucose Tags 

There are many factors which impact blood sugar, the most obvious being the amount of sugar in food however there are also unpredictable influences such as climate and hormones. Accounting for these influences by marking the data point with an icon tag could prove very useful in detecting daily, monthly and bi-annual patterns. The option to tag is provided upon scanning the sensor. The icon pack was expanded to include symptoms of high and low blood sugar. 

Unfortunately, many people and professionals do not recognise T1DM before it is too late or has caused irreparable damage to the patients organs (Boise, M., 2018). Fatalities and secondary health problems could be prevented by raising awareness through posters communicating the symptoms of T1DM and factors that impact blood sugar. These could be displayed at a General Practice or on the NHS website home page to inform people of the disease.

Stickers

Communicating An Invisible Disease

The aim of the reusable stickers is to create a playful and effective way of communicating blood sugars without having to voice it. The stickers could also be used as part of a social media campaign to bring awareness to the disease, whilst acting as a support system within the Diabetic community to convey that even the most practiced Diabetic will always have a challenging day. The stickers are worn on the Freestyle Libre sensor. There are opportunities to use the sensor as a canvas to raise awareness about T1DM. 

Case Studies

 

As part of my Major project, I had to document the research and design decisions that led to the final piece. 

See the process artefacts for Sweetcycle linked below.

 

MORE IDEAS

SWEETCYCLE

Manage Your Diabetes & Mindset

MARTINI TILE TIME

D&AD New Blood 2020

MEND THE LIVING

Title Sequence

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