Diabetes and apps

ACBRD (Dr Steve Trawley, Ms. Shaira Baptista and Prof Jane Speight) have recently published a conceptual follow-up to their 2016 paper that looked at mobile health applications (app) use for self-management support amongst adolescents with type 1 diabetes.

By Dr Steven Trawley

Published ahead of print in Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics, this new dataset of 1589 adult respondents with type 1 or type 2 diabetes were asked a similar question about their app usage for self-management support. Only 24% of adults with type 1 diabetes reported using apps to support their diabetes management and most the apps were not diabetes-specific. Interestingly, app usage among these adults was associated with lower self-reported HbA1c. Among adults with type 2 diabetes, only 8% reported they had used apps to help with their diabetes. For these respondents, the most commonly reported reason for not using apps was a belief that apps would not help with their diabetes management.

The lack of app usage, especially among adults with type 2 diabetes, is surprising considering the growing interest in the potential for apps to support self-management of health and the number of new self-management apps hitting the commercial market. These results highlight the need to ensure that app development in this field meets the expressed needs of intended users.

Trawley S, Baptista S, Browne JL, Pouwer F, Speight, J.  The Use of Mobile Applications Among Adults with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes: Results from the Second MILES—Australia (MILES-2) Study. Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics. October 2017, ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1089/dia.2017.0235

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