Having type 1 diabetes means that it is important to know how to keep safe when having alcohol. The recently launched Type 1 Diabetes Friend: Alcohol Guide is a free mobile app, aimed at helping young people find out what to do to keep safe and how alcohol can affect their body.
Members of the development team will be attending the forthcoming Diabetes UK Conference in March 2013 to chat about this innovative work. We will be presenting three posters at the conference the third of which is detailed below:
The development of an innovative mobile phone app for type 1 diabetes alcohol education
Patient Education and Self-management
Social media is being increasingly used to try and engage young people with their healthcare issues. However, most mobile diabetes applications (Apps) do not include personalised patient education, a key facet of diabetes self-management. We sought the views and ideas of young people with type 1 diabetes to enable the design of innovative new Apps which might help to improve their quality of life. This project highlights an innovative, patient-centric approach to the development and production of a health based mobile App concerning diabetes education about alcohol.
Data collected by semi-structured, in-depth qualitative interviews (n=9) of people with type 1 diabetes aged 18-21. Interviews were transcribed and loaded onto the qualitative data analysis tool NVivo. Baseline data analysis was undertaken to locate potential ideas for mobile App development, with suggestions chosen needing to reflect interviewee requirements and to meet clinic goals.
Interviewees suggested that they would find a guide which could be accessed via a mobile device about alcohol limits and the effects of alcohol on their diabetes particularly useful on a night out. An App about alcohol and diabetes, ‘Start Safe, Stay Safe’, was developed with further input from young people with type 1 diabetes and clinic staff.
In developing a mobile App about alcohol and diabetes, we have shown how young people with type 1 diabetes can participate effectively in the design and implementation of new technology which they can then use to improve their quality of life.