Type 2 Diabetes is one of the major consequences of the obesity epidemic and according to Diabetes New Zealand is New Zealand’s fastest-growing health crisis. In terms of diabetes diagnosis, Type 2 currently accounts for around 90% of all cases. Also of concern to health professionals is that there are large numbers of people with silent, undiagnosed Type 2 Diabetes which may be damaging their bodies. An estimated 258,000 New Zealanders are estimated to have some form of diabetes, with than number doubling over the past decade.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) requires tight control of blood glucose to minimize complications and mortality [1,2]. However, many people with DM have suboptimal glycemic control [3,4]. Use of mobile phone apps in diabetes management has been shown to modestly improve glycemic control [5-10]. Despite this promise, health apps remain largely unregulated, and diabetes apps have not always had safety approval [11] or incorporated evidence-based guidelines [12,13].
The A1C is a common blood test that measures the amount of glucose that is attached to the hemoglobin in our red blood cells. It has a variety of other names, including glycated hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1C and HbA1 and is used in the diagnosis and monitoring of diabetes. Unlike the traditional blood glucose test, the A1C does not require fasting, and blood can be drawn at any time of day. It is hoped that this will result in more people getting tested and decreasing the number of people with undiagnosed diabetes, which is currently estimated to be more than 7 million adults in the U.S. (more…)
This patient sample came from patients in secondary care diabetes clinics, and therefore, app use may be different amongst patients managed in primary care. Similarly, findings may not generalize to patients with poorer glycemic control as responders had statistically significantly lower HbA1c than non-responders. This was a cross-sectional survey that is useful to assess app use at one point in time, but it is likely that people vary their app use and recommendations over time. It was therefore not possible to assess whether the introduction of an app has significant effect on clinical outcomes. Our study did not address the difference in needs in app features between responders on insulin and those not on insulin. Overall the response rates for both surveys were low and responses were limited by self-report and therefore liable to responder bias.

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