Research Project

Examining Trust Barriers Towards Diabetes Adoption Among BIPOC Community


This study aims to enhance trust and accessibility to diabetes technology for Black, Indigenous, or Persons of Color (BIPOC) community who live in Los Angeles and are diagnosed with Type-I or Type-II diabetes. The research objectives include identifying barriers to trust in medical device technology for diabetes management, exploring strategies to increase trust among non-users of such devices, and discovering facilitators to bolster trust in current users. Further research questions will explore factors such as lifestyle, perceptions of technology, trust in their doctor, lack of people in their community using medical technology, etc. Research goals will include prioritizing how we should address the lack of trust in using diabetes technology to manage the day-to-day of diabetes, incorporating potential solutions as part of our strategy to increase adoption of technology among communities of color, and working with Medtronic Health and Equity Team to integrate potential solutions alongside Medtronic strategy.

Research Team

Lead Researcher:

  • Kevin Zemlicka M.A. : Academic Advisement, Anthropology & Psychology


  • Rebecca Gottlieb: Medtronic,The Vice President of Research and Technology at Medtronic Diabetes

Student Team:

  • Elizabeth Bedrossian
  • Jasmine Campos- Grijalva
  • Caitlyn Espino-Benitez
  • Angelina Geisen
  • Samira Khabbazzadeh-Rashti
  • Trevor Levens
  • Emerson Martinez-Godoy
  • Steven Mejorado
  • Margaret Thorne 
  •  Jessica Vasquez


  • Funding Organization: Medtronic
  • Funding Program:
Research Problem/Motivation
  • Understand and define why there is a lack of trust when a person with diabetes is considering using a medical device to manage their diabetes.
    • What is the definition of trust?
    • What constitutes trust?
    • What are the factors that affect trust?
  • Identify potential solutions to increase trust in individuals who are not using diabetes technology.
  • Quantify or estimate how different solutions/initiatives play a role in gaining trust for technology adoption.
Alignment, Engagement and Contributions to the priorities of NASA’s Mission Directorates


Research Methods

Our study employs the survey research method to gain valuable insights into building trust in diabetes technology. Surveys are an essential tool in social science research, offering a systematic and structured approach to collecting data from a diverse and representative sample. By utilizing a carefully crafted questionnaire, we aim to explore and understand the attitudes, opinions, and behaviors of our participants, with a particular focus on trust in BIPOC community members regarding diabetes technology. The survey methodology allows us to efficiently gather large amounts of data, enabling us to draw meaningful conclusions and identify significant trends and patterns within our target population. The findings from this survey will serve as a crucial foundation for future research in this domain, providing valuable knowledge that can inform strategies to enhance trust and engagement in diabetes technology among BIPOC individuals. We are committed to ensuring the confidentiality and anonymity of our participants, and their contributions will be invaluable in analysis on the important issues explored in this study.

Research Deliverables and Products
  • Students presentations to Medtronic leadership:
    • Presentation of proposed research methodologies to Medtronic (complete)
    • Literature review completion and presentation of literature review to Medtronic
  • Written report based on coding and analysis of data (planned)
  • Publication in anthropology journal (Human Organization, City and Society, Medical
    Anthropology Quarterly are being considered presently)
Research Timeline

The work plan spans several cycles, each lasting around three years and divided into three stages: Discovery, Identify Solutions, and Research and Develop.

The first cycle from 2023 to 2026 involves conducting literature reviews, recruiting individuals with diabetes from CSUN students’ families/populations, and engaging in surveys and interviews.

Collaborating with Medtronic, the team will identify potential solution strategies and validate them with subject matter experts and participants. Subsequently, potential solutions will be conceived, selected, and implemented, followed by testing and operation in laboratory settings.

For the subsequent cycle, 6/2026-6/2029, specific objectives and tasks will be determined through consultation with Medtronic. The project endeavors to create meaningful advancements that foster trust and expand access to diabetes technology, catering to the unique needs of BIPOC individuals and underserved patients.

Research Team

Medtronic Advisors

  • Chia Chiu
  • Jessica Gandlin
  • Adriana Scott

CSUN Advisors

  • Dr. Nhut Ho
  • Dr. Michael Kabo
  • Dr. Kacie Blackman

Student Team

  • Adinai Seiitbek
  • Siddhi Patel