Our client wished to design an ecosystem strategy for behavioural, drug and clinical health technologies that help at-risk obese persons to lose and maintain weight.

Although weight management programs have proliferated in response to the (diabetic) obesity problem, they suffer badly from poor weight loss outcomes. Weight loss is only achieved in 10-20% of patients, most efforts fail and patients struggle to readily change their lifestyles. Health care systems do not have the time and cannot afford to provide more than superficial diet-nutritional and exercise advice for obese patients. Healthcare practitioners deliver upfront, education-based, information and advice that is not well-tailored to patients. Patients are frustrated, depressed and desperate, despite repeated attempts to lose weight. Few diet plans actually work and they are trapped in their life-long eating and lifestyle habits.


Using Umio Health Ecosystem Value Design®, we:

  • Mapped the diabetic obesity service ecosystem of actors and weight loss / maintenance services in three countries

  • Defined the different interactions performed by patients and with different practitioners and resources. Doing so identified different perspectives on how patients go about losing weight and obtaining weight loss services.

  • Explored adjacent social ecosystems where risk and other factors arise that prevent or reduce their ability to lose weight. Using these, we identified particularly underserved patients and problem contexts, unmet needs, capability gaps and priority outcomes

  • Developed a unique multi-parameter segmentation model that combined hitherto undiscovered and unrealized patient and practitioner typologies, revealing the diversity and also commonalities of different segments

  • Themed the opportunities and segment typologies into Value Frames – new possibilities for shaping ecosystem strategy, value propositions, and solution design

  • Designed an adaptive ecosystem strategy for supporting a particularly underserved patient segment, currently disengaged from current healthcare services and technologies and presenting a significant risk to their own and health system wellbeing


Enabled by better science, data and monitoring, losing weight for many people is set to become much more personalised, adaptive and therefore contextual to their lives and their condition.

Using our approach, we helped our client to fully map the obesity weight loss problem, revealing unseen patterns of diversity and hidden segments of patient – practitioner need and capability. This provided much clearer insight into the behavioural factors, constraints and opportunities it would need to address in the design of its ecosystem intervention and growth strategy, and the technology solutions to realise it.

We continue to work with our client to co-create solutions and evolve its strategy through ongoing learning and adaptation, helping it keep apace of technological, competitor and ecosystem developments. Fortunately, using our objective, solution-free units of analysis, it is able to do so in the confidence that its deeper understanding of patient and practitioner diversity will bring it success in its efforts to address a complex health problem.