Help is at hand

A new web­site is de­liv­er­ing need-to-know info about di­a­betes – in a re­ally en­gag­ing way

Diabetic Living - - Diabetes Awareness -

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.”

For­ward think­ing

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

the doc­tor.

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