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The challenge

There is a growing number of adults with diabetes in Colombia, estimated at nearly 3 million in 2017, with associated health costs of over 2 billion USD per year.1,2 It is well known that long-term complications associated with diabetes are preventable by optimising glycaemic control, however, this requires patient understanding and self-efficacy. Education is therefore incredibly important.

Moreover, 10-minute consultations do not provide sufficient time to communicate critical information to patients. Current delivery of health information was reported by patients to be insufficient, inaccessible, difficult to understand, and sometimes unreliable.

Cognitant therefore initiated a project aimed at improving the self-management of diabetes. The aim was to help people with diabetes experience better clinical outcomes, including quality of life, by empowering them with a greater understanding of their condition and medication. The initial phase focused on helping patients prevent hypoglycaemia.

The solution

With the support of an Innovate UK grant, Cognitant worked in partnership with Oxford Brookes University and the Hospital Universitario San Ignacio in Bogotá, Colombia, to run a feasibility study to evaluate the potential of a visual and interactive educational programme for people with diabetes. A double-diamond co-creation approach ensured that the programme included the right topics (including understanding of their condition, the effects of treatment, and strategies for effective management), that the information was easy to understand, and delivered in a format that maximised engagement and impact. Three prototypes were developed based on initial research and were delivered to a cohort of patients with diabetes at risk of hypoglycaemia.

The results

“I have had diabetes since I was 5 years old and I have seen everything from books, guides, brochures, group workshops, medical visits. All that is boring and you don’t pay attention, the videos are very friendly and help to gain interest, they involve you with your sight and hearing and educate you better” Patient, translated from Spanish


  1. Vargas-Uricoechea H and Casas-Figueroa LÁ. Ann Glob Health 2015;81(6):742-753
  2. IDF Diabetes Atlas 8th Edition, 2017. Available at: Accessed September 2021



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