Help is at hand
A new website is delivering need-to-know info about diabetes – in a really engaging way
Working closely with a team of specialists, Diabetic Living’s expert endocrinologist Dr Sultan Linjawi has launched an online diabetes education program with a difference.
Called My Health Explained, it caters for people living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, and recognises that no two people are the same.
“We wanted to make a site that’s unique to the individual,” says Dr Linjawi. So, as well as choosing which type of diabetes you have, selecting an age bracket and whether you’re male or female, you also get to ‘customise’ the information you’ll receive, based on a few different personality profiles.
“You can read different personas – for example, a guy who cares about his health and wants to learn a lot; a woman who feels she’s too busy to worry about her diabetes; someone who feels like they don’t know where to start. You choose the profile that most accurately fits you,” says Dr Linjawi. “The website will then change to create a sense of ‘this is me’.” It even caters for different cultures and languages.
Then, once you’ve created your profile and subscribed, you’ll be able to access articles that provide simple tips and tricks, which are specific to you – and not just of the written variety. A lot of My Health Explained’s content is delivered via simple, captivating videos, spread out over a series of 10-15-minute episodes. “There’s a lot of diabetes information out there, but often it’s not inspiring or is delivered via huge amounts of writing,” Dr Linjawi says. “That risks people getting bored, losing interest and leaving it. So we thought, what if we deliver educational information in a video format, in a way that’s beautifully presented? People might enjoy the journey more and, as a result, might be more likely to engage with it and find it helpful.
“The plan is not to become a person’s doctor, or to take away the role of a nurse, dietitian or diabetes educator. It’s to enhance their service because you can’t get hours’ worth of information at the doctor – that’s usually only a 20-minute appointment and
there’s a lot you need to know.”
Instead, Dr Linjawi says the program is all about inspiring people living with diabetes to take control. “I think the era where a health professional has the most say over your wellbeing is over. And particularly with diabetes – when you walk out of the doctor’s office, you’re the one who has to decide ‘Do I do this or that?’, ‘Do I eat this or that?’ and that decision is yours to be made every day, for the rest of your life.”
Catering for carers
Providing advice about how living with diabetes affects a person physiologically, psychologically and emotionally, My Health Explained is for carers, too. “We know a lot of people visit the site for their loved one – for example, men and women for their partners, daughters might subscribe for their fathers,” he says.
And if you’re a carer you’ll have a different experience. “For example, as a carer, you might receive an article that explains why men generally don’t like to see doctors, and that article will provide tips and ideas about how to motivate the man in your life to get better outcomes.”
When you become a member of My Health Explained, you can also take heart in the fact that you’re helping other people living with diabetes.
“As you go through the program on the website, you are presented with a series of questions that will not only help us deliver extra information that’s targeted and relevant to you, it’ll also help us gain a clearer insight into people who are living with diabetes, so it’s a research tool as well,” Dr Linjawi said. “In partnership with Cornell University, one of the big overseas universities, we’re tracking all the outcomes of what people are telling us so we can start publishing papers about the conceptions and experiences of people living with diabetes, which will also allow us to design new and improved content for the future.”
To find out more about this new program, head to myhealthexplained.com and explore! As a starting point, make sure you click on the ‘watch this now’ video link, to learn more about Dr Linjawi and hear him talk about why signing up for this new program could be of benefit to you.
The plan is not to become a
person’s doctor... it’s to enhance their service because
you can’t get hours’ worth of information at