Declaring war on diabetes

 

Chronic health conditions are on the rise across the globe and Singapore is no exception. Particularly alarmed at the increase in diabetes, the Singapore government asked us to come up with a product that would help the citizens there to live healthier, happier and longer lives. And we jumped at the chance!

 

Immersed in the culture

We began by looking at the way people live in Singapore and their specific cultural needs and barriers. We discovered three particularly significant findings:

  1. People in Singapore spend a lot of time in malls and it’s a big part of the culture.
  2. While in the US and UK, refined sugar is the enemy, in Singapore it’s carbs. Noodles at breakfast and duck rice at dinner taste great – but spike blood sugar.
  3. Takeaway food is readily available and extremely cheap. Busy working people here frequently eat out for convenience, so we had to find a healthier alternative that didn’t take up time.

 

Talking to people

There are many simple lifestyle changes that improve health wherever you live and whoever you are – such as eating more vegetables or becoming more active. But these have to be considered in the light of cultural differences. So, once we’d developed an understanding of the lifestyles in Singapore, we talked to people living there to find out more about their specific needs and challenges:

  • We met with pre-diabetics, diabetics and pregnant women who were struggling to improve their health.
  • We spent time at clinics meeting patients, doctors and looking at care paths for newly-diagnosed diabetics and pre-diabetics. This allowed us to understand their concerns and see how they interacted with the healthcare system close up.
  • We visited malls, food halls and supermarkets to see what food options were freely available and what people typically ate.

 

Looking to the future

Armed with our findings, we tailored our platform to meet the specific needs of this area. We’ve now launched in Singapore and although it’s early days, the government are delighted with the results so far. Now our product is out there and being used daily, the data we gather from our users can in turn be used to improve and refine our product even more.

We’re proud to be helping the people of Singapore beat diabetes and other health conditions, once and for all!

Want to get involved?

If you want to contribute to our research or share your own, we’d love to hear from you.