Development and test of a mobile application inspired by a health educational approach targeting people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes

Aim and purpose
Research shows that people who are involved in planning and making decisions in relation to their diabetes treatment perform better and are more satisfied with their life [1]. However, there is a need for developing new solutions that support management for people living with diabetes. Statistics show that three out of four Danes own a smartphone. Consequently, digital solutions have a potential to support management of chronic diseases such as diabetes [2]. Studies recommend digital solutions based on user-centered approaches, where the target group is actively involved in developing and testing the app, that focus on the participants’ needs and challenges, and comprise personalised content and feedback mechanisms [3].

Aims of the project

  • To explore needs, challenges, preferences and resources in relation to mobile applications targeting people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. 
  • To develop and test a mobile application inspired by a research-based health education concept, ‘Next Education’ (NEED).  
Design, method and theory
In order to develop a mobile application (app) tailored to the needs and challenges of people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes, the project applied the methodology of ‘Design Thinking’ [4]. This means that the solution is not predefined, but shaped in co-creation with the target groups(s). The approach consists of four phases: Research, analysis, ideation and anchoring. 

In the first phase, we explored needs and challenges of people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes using qualitative semi-structured interviews. The interviews were supplemented with observations of group-based patient education and individual consultations conducted by a medical doctor. Furthermore, interactive workshops were conducted with health care professionals and with people who were newly diagnosed. After that we analysed data from the research phase (inspiration phase). In the third phase, a mobile app prototype was developed with active involvement of the target groups (ideation). In the last phase, we tested the prototype (12-16 people). Both qualitative and quantitative methods were applied.
 
Target group

The research project targets people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes.  

Expected outcomes

  • A mobile app prototype developed in co-creation with the target group
  • New knowledge about how a mobile app can support people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes 
Collaborators
  • Diabetes Management Research, Health Promotion Research, Steno Diabetes Center
  • BridgeIT
  • Vanløse Community Health Center
  • The medical practice Tine Lindinger and Thomas Saxild I/S
  • Frederiksberg hospital
The OPI (Public-Private-Innovation Collaboration) program “A new life with type 2 diabetes” has granted 1.200.000 DKK to development and test of a mobile app for people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. 

Sources

[1] Vibis 2013.
[3] www.mx.dk.
[4] El-Gayar 2013.
[5] Brown, T. (2008). Design Thinking: Integrating innovation, customer experience and brand value. New York: Allworth Press. 



Sidst opdateret 13-12-2016

Nana Folmann Hempler
Teamleader, Senior Researcher
Diabetes Management Research