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Diabetes Apps Increase User Engagement But Should Be Doing Opposite

Diabetes Apps Increase User Engagement But Should Be Doing Opposite

Diabetes Apps Increase User Engagement But Should Be Doing Opposite

People with diabetes increasingly turn to smartphone apps to help them manage their condition, and people like my son, a young adult who has lived with type 1 diabetes (T1D) for fifteen years, now have more than 100 to choose from on iOS or Android devices.
Researchers from the University of Florida recently took a look at these apps, and found it difficult to tell whether or not they were actually useful, though they gave many of these apps high marks for aesthetics and engagement.
Speaking from the perspective of someone who has spent these last 15 years living with diabetes in our home and working with thousands of people living with this challenging chronic disease, the vast majority of these diabetes apps do not work for most people with diabetes and are ultimately not useful, and here’s why: managing a chronic disease is exhausting, and tools to support people should be about giving people their time back, not asking them to devote more of it by “engaging” with your product.
There are better ways to use technology to manage chronic conditions.
Living with Diabetes
People living with diabetes—including my son and many colleagues of mine — spend an inordinate amount of time every day taking blood sugar readings, entering numbers on an insulin pump, recording their meals, reordering supplies and prescriptions, exercising, and keeping a daily log of their activities, illness, stress, and moods, and carbohydrate intake.
Going to bed at night does not offer relief from the routine. People with diabetes and, for children living with the disease, their parents, lose Continue reading

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Are You at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes? Learn Common—and Not So Common—Risk Factors

Are You at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes? Learn Common—and Not So Common—Risk Factors

Diabetes is not a rare condition – in fact, it’s an epidemic in the U.S. More than 30 million Americans have type 2 diabetes and another 84 million have prediabetes, a condition of elevated blood sugar levels that often leads to type 2.
Why do so many Americans have type 2 diabetes? Experts say this major public health problem is due to an aging population, increasing obesity rates and rising sedentary lifestyles.
But it’s largely a preventable epidemic and you can offset your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by understanding common—and some not-so-common —type 2 diabetes risk factors, such as:
Body Composition
You’ve probably heard that being overweight raises your risk. But it’s not really about the number on the scale, it’s about your body composition. If you have higher body fat percentage, your cells may be less sensitive to insulin. Being overweight and/or living a sedentary lifestyle tend to raise your body fat percentage.
However, even if you’re at a healthy weight, you’re not necessarily off the hook. You can still be at risk if you’re metabolically obese at normal weight—more commonly known as “skinny fat.” When you’re metabolically obese, you have a normal weight but are out of shape and have low muscle mass.
Aging is also tied to this risk factor. As you age, your metabolism and physical activity levels typically slow, causing you to gain fat mass. This is why the risk for type 2 diabetes begins rising after age 45.
Eating healthy and strength training can help maintain a healthy body composition. Talk to your doctor before beginn Continue reading

Type 2 diabetes - new way to control blood sugar could get rid of painful monitoring

Type 2 diabetes - new way to control blood sugar could get rid of painful monitoring

A new app called Epic Health could monitor glucose levels in healthy and type 2 diabetic patients is just as accurate as traditional, invasive methods that use the finger prick test to draw blood.
Type 2 diabetes cause blood sugar levels to rise, but it must be monitored to prevent people experiencing hyperglycaemia.
The app, which works by the user place a fingertip over the camera lens of their smartphone, has held its first few weeks of pre-clinical trials in Hereford.
The trials are being held to ensure that the app can accurately measure glucose when compared to methods when blood is drawn.
Epic Health was created to help those who suffer from diabetes or even those who are pre-diabetic, by making readings easier.
It was also designed to make blood glucose monitoring less intrusive and more engaging, encouraging users to understand how certain foods affect their body.
Every week 4,500 people are diagnosed with diabetes across the UK, but thousands more are unaware they are at risk.
With current finger-prick tests, a user may have to stab their fingers up to 3,000 times a year.
A pre clinical trial looked at 79 subjects with diagnosed type 2 diabetes, including undiagnosed borderline type 2, and healthy glucose levels took part in the data collection study.
The results showed that 90.58 per cent pairs of results were in the no risk zone and 8.88 per cent of pairs were in the ‘slight lower’ area giving a combined 99.4 per cent safe clinical error result.
The results unequivocally show that a mobile phone application can accurately estimate blood glucose levels of hea Continue reading

Fact check: If diabetes were a country how big would it be?

Fact check: If diabetes were a country how big would it be?

Federal Assistant Minister for Health Ken Wyatt claims diabetes is a growing and global issue.
"If I could just give you one stat: if diabetes was a country it would be the fifth largest country in the world. That's how many people across the globe are affected and so there is much work we've got to do," he said on ABC TV's Q&A on October 12.
So just how many people around the world have diabetes?
ABC Fact Check takes a look.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas can no longer produce enough insulin or when the body is unable to make good use of insulin.
The resulting high blood glucose levels cause damage in other organs and lead to heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney damage and amputations.
In Australia, 1.176 million people are registered with the National Diabetes Services Scheme, which helps people with diabetes manage their condition.
Diabetes Australia, a non-profit organisation that works to reduce the impact of the disease, estimates that another 500,000 Australians have diabetes but have not been diagnosed.
According to the not-for-profit International Diabetes Federation (IDF), there were 387 million people with diabetes in the world in 2013.
Its figure was arrived at by searching for country prevalence studies in the PubMed, Medline and Google Scholar databases, as well as reviewing national health surveys from governments and non-government organisations from January 1980 to April 2013.
When no studies were available for a particular country, studies from similar countries in the region, with similar wealth and ethnicity, were used.
Continue reading

Diabetes Has Become One of the Most Expensive and Lethal Diseases in the World

Diabetes Has Become One of the Most Expensive and Lethal Diseases in the World

Recent research shows life expectancy has declined in the U.S. for the first time in two decades. A follow-up study suggests type 2 diabetes is a factor in this declining life expectancy
About half of all American adults are either pre-diabetic or diabetic. Between 1990 and 2013, diabetes rates rose by 71 percent in the U.S.
While death certificates suggest diabetes is involved in about 3.5 percent of deaths in the U.S., the real number is likely around 12 percent; among the obese it may be 19 percent, suggesting diabetes may be the third leading cause of death
By Dr. Mercola
Late last year, research1,2,3 showed life expectancy has declined in the U.S. for the first time in two decades, leaving researchers searching for clues as to the cause.
While drug overdoses appear to have contributed to the decline, obesity also plays a major role. Now, a follow-up study4 suggests type 2 diabetes is a major factor. As reported by Vox:5
"[R]esearchers have long known that diabetes is an underreported cause of death on death certificates, the primary data source for determining life expectancy trends.
That's because people with diabetes often have multiple health conditions, or "comorbidities," such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and even cancer …
[According to] Andrew Stokes, assistant professor of global health at Boston University's School of Public Health … '[T]o some extent, deaths that should be attributed to diabetes go to other causes.'"
Indeed, the links between diabetes and other lethal conditions such as heart disease and cancer Continue reading

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