Journal of the Association for Information Systems


This paper primarily investigates sensitivity towards patients’ values in the designs of the information and communication technologies (ICTs) that are capable of empowering them. We focus on the role of ICTs in self-management (SM) of diabetes, a chronic disease. Chronic diseases, declared an invisible epidemic by the World Health Organization, cause and perpetuate poverty and impede the economic development of many countries. As a means of informing the design of ICTs that facilitate self-management, we draw on value sensitive design (VSD) to conduct an in-depth interpretive field study to reveal the values that are important to diabetic patients. Specifically, we reveal twelve values shared by these patients: accessibility, accountability, autonomy, compliance, dignity, empathy, feedback, hope, joy, privacy, sense-making, and trust. A conceptual model emerged from analyzing interviews with diabetic patients; this model explains how these values, which are integrated into ICT features, afford or constrain patients’ abilities to self-manage their activities. This study makes multiple theoretical contributions: By granting ICT artifacts a clear theoretical status, it advances the field of SM that has nominally covered ICTs; it extends design research by extending the VSD literature and by introducing a valuecentric design perspective to examine a complex sociotechnical system; and it broadens work system theory by applying it in the healthcare space. The study’s findings have implications for design science researchers, healthcare providers, and policymakers.