Propose sound-based trigger to attract people and sustain their involvement in Pre-Diabetic Intervention program.

The War on Diabetes Designathon organised by the Health Promotion Board (HPB), invites designers, healthcare professionals, developers, communication experts and community to design tools and programmes which will help people prevent and manage Type 2 Diabetes.

There were two problem statements given at the challenge:

  • Interventions for persons at high risks of developing Type 2 Diabetes
  • Increasing physical activity level among working adults

Participants are coached by expert mentors and expected to verify proposed solutions in the real world. The event culminated at Pitch Day where 21 teams presented their solutions to a panel of senior healthcare industry leaders attended by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Health & Ministry of Communication and Information, and Mr Amrin Amin, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs & Ministry of Health.

Idea: DING

The starting point of challenge we want to address is how might we attract people and sustain their involvement in Pre-Diabetic Intervention program. Inspired by “fidget spinner” novelty - Our idea is to leverage behavioral positive reinforcement and auditory senses to engage your subconscious which will enable pavlovian associative learning.

Underlying Concept

The Fogg Behavior Model explains that three elements must come together at the same time for driving behavioral changes: motivation, ability and trigger 1. Designing effective trigger is important because without an appropriate trigger, behavior will not occur even if both motivation and ability are high. From the neuroscience perspective, creating new behaviors can be done by rewiring the brain. This can be accomplished via repetition and to associate with positive emotions (e.g. positive reinforcement by celebrating small wins) 2 - which is also related to Pavlovian / Classical conditioned learning to bring reflexive behavior 3.

The ringing sound of the bell which has been associated with a form of celebration inspire us to explore its potential. We noted such practices of using sound and frequencies to impact the physical and emotional health of the body is not new. It has been argued that sound can have physiological effects because its vibrations are not merely heard but also felt which may lower heart rate variability, relax brain wave patterns and reduce respiratory rates4. At the sametime, there notable interest in “fidgeting” - a repetitive sensory stimulation with an object for therapeutic purposes.

Based on those findings, we conceptualise “Auditory Association Trigger” that will enhance recall, evokes emotion and reinforce formation of healthier habits for the “War on Diabetes”.

Pitch Preview and Highlight Reel from UP Singapore.