We recognize that the Stop Diabetes movement is built on relationships and understanding what it means to live with diabetes, from frustrations and fears to friendships and triumphs. We hope this blog will act as window for you into the role of the Association in this movement. Let us know how we’re doing – email us at diabetesstopshere@diabetes.org.
Most people know that diabetes involves the inability to control glucose, or blood sugar, by not producing enough insulin or not managing it correctly. This leads to elevated levels of glucose in the body, which can result in very serious complications, such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, hardening of the arteries, foot and leg amputation and blindness. (more…)
The incidence of type 1 diabetes mellitus has been increasing worldwide [1], [2], [3], and it appears to have been particularly pronounced among children <5 years of age (yr) [3], [4], [5]. This increase has been suggested to be associated with the ‘accelerator hypothesis’ [6]. Although this hypothesis is not universally accepted [7], it predicts that higher BMI is associated with younger age at type 1 diabetes diagnosis [8], which has been demonstrated in some studies [9], [10], [11].
Similar to a national American mHealth survey, a large proportion of patients are not using health apps [26]. However, there was a higher rate (20%) of diabetes app use in this patient group compared to the 4% found in a survey of diabetes app use in the USA in 2015 [14] and 7% in Scotland in 2016 [23]. Our findings are consistent with previous surveys showing people using apps are more likely to be younger [26]. It has been suggested that people who are more in need of diabetes care are less likely to use apps [27]; however, we found no significant difference in HbA1c between app users and non-app users. The most favored feature being the blood glucose diary is not surprising given it is the most common feature included in the apps available [5,14]. However some responders are also using health apps that are not specific to diabetes, such as apps for dietary advice.
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Mobile phone ownership rates are increasing. Similar to trends seen in the United States and Canada, where mobile phone ownership is 72% and 67%, respectively [20], 70% of New Zealanders own a mobile phone, making diabetes apps potentially available to most people [21]. Limited research exists into the use of diabetes apps in New Zealand. However with increasing rates of both diabetes prevalence and mobile phone ownership, access to safe apps is essential for both HPs as potential app prescribers and patients as app users [21,22]. In Scotland, a survey of people with diabetes found high mobile phone ownership (67%) with over half reporting an interest in using apps for self-management of diabetes, but app usage in only 7% of responders [23]. The objectives of this study were (1) To establish whether people with diabetes use apps to assist with diabetes self-management and which features are useful or desirable, and (2) To establish whether HPs treating people with diabetes recommend diabetes apps, which features were thought to be useful, and which features were they confident to recommend.
We are now operating as a Branch of Diabetes New Zealand; previously we had been in operation for more than 30 years, as an independent Incorporated Society. During that time, we have seen some significant changes in the field of diabetes. As times change, we strive to change with them, but our basic mission remains the same: to support the interests of people living with diabetes in the Rotorua region.
The 60.2% of HPs in our survey who had recommended a diabetes app is significantly higher than previously documented amongst physicians across a range of specialties [28], although it is similar to HPs’ recommendation for any type of health app [19]. We did not observe any effect of HPs’ age on app recommendation, although it is previously well established that younger HPs are more likely to adopt mHealth for diabetes [28].

We are now operating as a Branch of Diabetes New Zealand; previously we had been in operation for more than 30 years, as an independent Incorporated Society. During that time, we have seen some significant changes in the field of diabetes. As times change, we strive to change with them, but our basic mission remains the same: to support the interests of people living with diabetes in the Rotorua region.
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