The purpose of this project was to evaluate the utilization of a smartphone application for diabetes self-management education (DSME) into a family practice office. Cochrane review of technological options for DSME identified the smartphone as the most effective option. All patients with diabetes presenting in a family practice office for appointments with the clinical pharmacist or the physician were asked if they would participate in the project if they met the inclusion criteria including the diagnosis of diabetes, owning a smart-phone, and over 18 years old. Exclusion criteria were pregnancy, end-stage kidney disease, or use of an insulin pump.
The goal was to enroll at least 10 patients and have them utilize the smartphone application Care4life for education and blood glucose tracking. HbA1c, heart rate, blood pressure, weight, and body mass index were collected at the initiation of the trial in addition to a demographic survey. A survey was obtained at the end of the trial. Ten patients were enrolled in the project; 50% women. One patient discontinued participation after enrollment. Six patients returned their surveys.
The feedback was primarily positive with individuals liking the text messaging reminders and ability to track their matrix (blood pressure, blood glucose, weight, medication adherence, exercise). Continued utilization of the smartphone application within the practice is likely for those patients who enjoy the technology as a reminder. Further opportunities for implementation would be in a hospital setting where patients face a delay post discharge for an appointment with a diabetes educator. Additionally, due to the complexity of the disease this application could be used to educate caregivers.