August 15, 2021
2 min learn
Stahl R. S18. Introduced at: ADCES21; Aug. 12-15, 2021 (digital assembly).
Stahl experiences no related monetary disclosures.
Diabetes apps as a part of a technology-enabled observe can assist individuals with diabetes obtain optimistic medical outcomes and enhance high quality of life; nonetheless, there are no-one-size-fits all suggestions and not all apps add value.
“We as diabetes care and schooling specialists want to concentrate on what apps are on the market and help our sufferers utilizing apps, simply as we do for different diabetes applied sciences,” Rachel Stahl, MS, RD, CDN, CDCES, employees affiliate in drugs within the division of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Drugs, informed Healio. “Nevertheless, we additionally have to warning them about considerations, corresponding to security and privateness points.”
Diabetes expertise has developed and dramatically improved care, and apps are part of the evolution, Stahl mentioned throughout a digital presentation on the Affiliation of Diabetes Care & Schooling Specialists annual convention. Apps, launched with the primary Apple iPhone in 2007, are nonetheless a brand new idea to some, however adoption is quickly rising, Stahl mentioned. At present, there are greater than 318,000 cell well being apps obtainable for obtain, masking basic wellness and well being administration, displaying or downloading health data, or functioning as standalone medical gadgets.
“What began out as an curiosity in apps, quickly turned a necessity,” Stahl informed Healio. “I get questions on a regular basis from sufferers asking me about what apps I like to recommend or coming to me already utilizing apps.”
Diabetes apps deliver with them many advantages, corresponding to lowering friction for gathering well being information, offering choice help, driving affected person engagement and enhancing care by means of extra collaboration between the individual with diabetes and the diabetes care and schooling specialist or different suppliers, Stahl mentioned. Apps additionally supplied superior analytics, permitting for customized insights based mostly on retrospective meals or insulin information, and sample recognition to keep away from excessive or low glucose values.
Apps can also deliver disadvantages, corresponding to privateness, safety and security considerations.
“In contrast to a medical gadget like a [continuous glucose monitor] or an insulin pump, nearly all of apps aren’t regulated by a governing physique, just like the FDA,” Stahl mentioned. “With out oversight or regulation comes greater danger. The app might not carry out the marketed operate, it could current potential cybersecurity dangers, or it could lack safeguards to stop dangerous errors from operational error.”
Moreover, Stahl mentioned, merely recommending an app is probably not useful.
“In reality, one examine confirmed that over 75% of apps are used as soon as after being downloaded, after which by no means used once more,” Stahl informed Healio. “This underscores the necessity for the diabetes care and schooling specialist to not solely help the affected person in app choice, however to help its use by means of ongoing schooling and follow-up to assist enhance outcomes.”
The diabetes care and schooling specialist can play a job within the profitable use of apps by following 4 steps:
- Help with app choice and individualize suggestions. “Simply as with all diabetes care, recommending apps requires an individualized, patient-centered strategy slightly than a one-size-fits-all philosophy,” Stahl mentioned. “Think about the well being literacy and numeracy of your affected person.”
- Onboard “dwell” or remotely. “Assist the individual to obtain, register and customise the app,” Stahl mentioned. “Possibly it helps them enter their targets or connects with considered one of their diabetes gadgets. Taking these additional moments to set them up exhibits we care and can assist them get essentially the most out of it.”
- Focus on potential privateness and security considerations. “Sufferers want to concentrate on dangers,” Stahl mentioned.
- Present ongoing schooling, coaching and follow-up.
“Keep in mind, the information from apps is simply data,” Stahl mentioned. “This means the necessary position the diabetes care and schooling specialist has in educating the affected person with diabetes about profitable integration of apps. The underside line is apps are right here to remain. Now’s the time to get forward of the curve.”