Mobile health interventions reduce healthcare costs and improve diabetes management

A boy and girl writing at school

Annual expenses for young people with diabetes is over $1.8 billion due to outpatient care and the cost of prescription medication [1][2]. Through idea hub, Dr. Monica Wang’s research aims to reduce this cost burden by exploring the potential of mobile health interventions to enhance parent and child diabetes education and improve diabetes self-management among predominantly low-income, underserved, and ethnically diverse populations and inform the development of child-centered, mobile health interventions.

This study also examined the potential of mobile health interventions to facilitate parent-child communication in disease management and ensure easier access to resources. As smartphones are widely used, it makes sense to use them to host these child-centered programs that engage both children and parents in order to enhance diabetes management. Her research informs the development of these mobile technology interventions and eases the transition of parent-initiated diabetes management to self-management among youth.

Dr. Wang and her team conducted interviews with parents and children with Type 1 Diabetes to assess the usability and acceptability of the mobile educational tool. The research followed users of the mobile technology to track changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to diabetes management. This follow-up allowed the team to improve upon the final product to ensure continued engagement, create an easier user experience, and to adapt the program for the needs of the population.

Given the growing costs of the disease on health systems, insurance companies, and hospitals, this research informs new technologies in mobile chronic condition management and can help reduce this disease burden.

Works Cited:

[1] Shrestha S, Zhang P, Albright A, Imperatore G. Medical Expenditures Associated With Diabetes Among Privately Insured U.S. Youth in 2007. Diabetes Care. 2011;34:1097-1101. Available at: https://www.healio.com/news/endocrinology/20120325/annual-medical-costs-for-youth-with-diabetes-exceed-9000. Last accessed July 10, 2020.

[2] JDRF. Type 1 Diabetes Facts (n.d.). Available at: https://www.jdrf.org/t1d-resources/about/facts/. Last accessed July 10, 2020.

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