Thejashwini D, Jaya Prabhakaran R I, and Gauri Pradhan
Currently, India is home to diabetes, and it has the second largest diabetic population in the world. The term ‘health seeker’ is used instead of patient since health seeker is attributed to a person motivated to improve his physical and mental wellbeing. (Bate and Rober, 2007) Diabetes is a chronic disease that requires the health seeker to modify their lifestyle, which is a transition of their identity. , This transition from a healthy self to a chronic health disease health seeker is often challenged by societal forces and healthcare services. While the patient experiences are personal, the healthcare systems are abstract and impersonal. (Bate and Rober, 2007)
With the systems thinking approach, the questions we are trying to seek answers to are: Where does the boundary of healthcare begin and end for a patient with chronic health disease? What are the insensitivities faced by the health seeker while experiencing a chronic health condition such as diabetes? What are the support systems that help them in the journey of new medical identity across space and various life activities?
The research involved literature review, expert interviews, patient interviews, hospital system journey audit through field visit and shadowing, digital consultation audit, focus group interviews, photo journaling and user narrative methods. We synthesised the information gathered through research by mapping the relationships, interactions and transactions between stakeholders of healthcare for a chronic disease health seeker. Through a behaviour over time map, we demonstrated life before, during and after being diagnosed as a chronic disease patient.
Keywords: healthcare, empathy, diabetes