Mapping Patient Journeys for Juvenile Type-1 Diabetes Patients, their Caregivers, and their Doctors


Lilly Diabetes

Eli Lilly was the first pharmaceutical company to mass-produce insulin. While their offerings for Type-2 Diabetics are strong, they want to make an impact on the underserved Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) community. T1D is a hereditary condition that frequently develops in childhood, making parents the primary caregivers. 

Through competitive research, we identified that the transition of care from the guardian to the patient is the least supported phase in a T1D patient’s life. We set out to discover how Eli Lilly could provide useful support in this phase.


User Journeys

Through diary studies of T1D teenagers, interviews with young adults responsible for their own care, and separate focus groups with medical professionals (endocrinologists and pediatricians), and parents of juvenile T1D patients, we were able to create an image of the T1D user journey for all of the key players involved.

All parties involved needed to be accounted for in our user journey, and where these journeys intersect needed to be clear.


Phase Definitions

Through diary studies of T1D teenagers, interviews with young adults responsible for their own care, and separate focus groups with medical professionals (endocrinologists and pediatricians), and parents of juvenile T1D patients, we were able to create an image of the T1D user journey for all of the key players involved.

We found that after entering the track through diagnosis and first prescription, the journeys were cyclical. The same emotional states were coming up again and again as new life milestones were hit. Once the transition to primarily self-care is made, the independent young adult’s journey still intersects with the caregiver’s on the occasion that they need assistance relating to their diabetes.

The patient journey is just that: only the patient’s journey. Details of their journey may change depending on their age at the time of their diagnosis, but the emotional touch points remain the same.

The caregiver’s journey may be that of a parent or guardian, a sibling or family member, or anyone else who is directly responsible for the patient. Certain emotional aspects of the journey may be shared by others that are close with the patient, but the anxiety felt by a primary caregiver when their child is out of their direct supervision, (ex. first day of school post-diagnosis) is painful and unique.

The Medical Team’s journey may be the journey of a number of people. This journey marks the caregiver and patient’s interactions with the professional medical world. These may include, but are not limited to, medical doctors, nurses, Certified Diabetes Instructors, and front desk reception.


Next Steps

Due to NDA, the next step of this project is unable to be published, but I have provided a brief overview below.

Our next task was to identify specific tactics that Eli Lilly could deploy to support the pain points in these journeys, which would include digital platforms, community fostering, books, physical take-home kits, and more.

While the transition to self-care was our primary focus, we wanted Eli Lilly to be a positive force in the patient’s life from the beginning, so our secondary tactical focus was at the stage of diagnosis.