It often begins with children and young people simply feeling powerless or experiencing a constant feeling of thirst. If the diagnosis of the chronic metabolic disease diabetes then follows, this can be quite a shock for the adolescents. Unfortunately, diabetes type 1 also occurs regularly in very young people. In contrast to type 2, which is known as "adult-onset diabetes", it is not caused by dietary or lifestyle factors, but is caused by a malfunction of the pancreas. Falling ill with diabetes at such an early age often proves to be a great challenge for those affected, as this not only means having to live with the disease from then on, but also having to accept a variety of cutbacks in what was previously considered a normal life.
Diabetes therefore means a considerable restriction of everyday life, especially for young people. At the same time, however, affected adolescents must learn to take responsibility for their disease themselves. The goal of Smart Diabetes 24/7 is therefore to give young diabetics a better insight into the cause of changes in their blood sugar levels. In this way, interrelationships can be better understood and targeted actions can be forced. This enables, for example, interventions in their own lifestyle, a more conscious approach to nutrition or the optimized administration of insulin. On the basis of the project a product for the Dutch market will be developed.
Through the use of sensor technology, data on the behaviour and lifestyle of young people is collected and compiled into a personal information profile. This profile is made available via the diabetes 24/7 app, which gives patients, caregivers and specialists access to current and historical information around the clock. This means that direct action can be taken if necessary, so that patients can react better to fluctuations in blood sugar levels and their personal treatment plan can be adjusted accordingly.
OFFIS developed and evaluated a user-centered app design in the project. A special challenge was to design the app in such a way that young users find a real added value in the app in order to increase the motivation to keep a diabetes diary at all.
Following the credo "More than numbers" OFFIS developed an app design which documents experiences with and around diabetes in the form of photos. Thereby, automatically sensory recorded blood glucose values, activity data and emotional factors are linked to photos taken by users. This way, they learn more about influencing factors such as nutrition, activity or the handling of alcohol in retrospect. This information can be linked and configured user-controlled with the situations recorded in the photos, so that an analysis can be carried out together with diabetes advisors or a personal reflection can be made.
On the basis of this, it is possible to avoid mistakes in dealing with the disease situational and data-based, which can help to better understand how diabetes influences life and to derive subsequent strategies for action. Besides the app, OFFIS developed the design of the field study, which was conducted in cooperation with our Dutch partners from mhealth24/7 and prepared all content for the implementation.
The project was successfully completed at the end of June. The interview results for the evaluation of the approach and the design as well as the first results of the field study were very positive. All project results will be further used by the project partner mhealth24/7 to develop a product for the Dutch market.