Technology as a Trusted Partner

Automated technology promises to improve healthcare, but only if used appropriately. If not trusted, it is unlikely to be used; if over-trusted, it may be used improperly (Lee & See 2004). 


Trust is a key factor in determining patient acceptance and effective use of healthcare devices. A woman with diabetes who was asked recently about autonomous glucose management systems responded she wasn’t the least bit interested, didn’t trust them, and preferred being in control. 

Designing to achieve the right level of trust requires understanding how trust develops in the complex environment of real situations and use (Norman & Stappers 2016). Designing effective solutions necessitates appreciating the perspectives of all stakeholders: patients, their families, caregivers, researchers, and industry. 

We conducted 23 photo-elicitation interviews to collect stories, extract themes and identify opportunities for intervention related to the Dexcom CGM. 

Continuous glucose management (CGM) simplifies the daily management of diabetes. However, CGM users often report a love-hate relationship,  fluctuating between the benefits of comfort and security gained vs. the management effort, interruptions and its time constraints. Significant work is needed to understand how design decision in CGM translates into a daily life with diabetes.

We collected feedback during two workshops with participants from a wide range of Dexcom departments. Feedback from lead users and a diabetes educator helped contextualize the insights.