As one of the most prevalent and fastest growing health concerns, diabetes self-management is becoming increasingly more important. In the UK alone there are over 4 million people with diabetes, worldwide the figure is closer to 371 million. An already stretched NHS is having to spend close to £14 billion a year on diabetes treatment and complications. Furthermore, worldwide around 187 million people are not aware they have the disease. By using mhealth apps, diabetes patients have a platform to learn more about the condition and improve self-management.
Managing Diabetes early
Constant neglect and poor management of diabetes can result in further complications later, such as heart disease, stroke and even blindness. As previous blogs have discussed, it is becoming more important that patients become engaged with the condition to full understand the management process. With diabetes it could be that the patient learns more about how to better monitor their blood glucose levels.
Why use mHealth apps to manage diabetes?
By using mhealth apps, patients are provided a platform to not only self-manage the condition, but to also receive more information. Among the difficulties with managing diabetes is managing multiple medicines. For example, not only do multiple insulin injections have to be scheduled, according to the NICE guidelines 2015, for individuals with type 1 diabetes, blood sugar levels are required to be tested at least 4 times per day. By using mHealth apps, the patient has a platform for information at the point of care, which could include when they are testing their blood sugar levels. Furthermore, not only do mhealth apps provide information, timely reminders can also be set to aid in the management of diabetes.
The aim of mhealth apps is to make them easy to use for all age groups. For the elderly, the condition be very socially isolating. mHealth apps can provide patients the opportunity to connect with other people with the condition online and receive peer support from other people living with the condition. For younger diabetes patients , research has shown that there is a demand for mhealth tools that provide alerts and information on the condition.
As the number of diabetes patients increases, self-management of the condition becomes more important. mHealth apps provide a platform for patients to engage with condition. Whether it be to learn more or to set alerts, mhealth tools look to have found a place in diabetes self-management.