Di­a­betes info app launched

CityPress - - News - ZINHLE MAPUMULO zinhle.mapumulo@city­press.co.za

The Cen­tre for Di­a­betes and En­docrinol­ogy (CDE) has launched its club app to pro­vide peo­ple who have di­a­betes with valu­able in­for­ma­tion on man­ag­ing the con­di­tion and tools to track their progress.

“It has been sug­gested that a per­son with di­a­betes should know more about di­a­betes than the av­er­age gen­eral prac­ti­tioner. But this can be over­whelm­ing, which is why this app has been in­tro­duced,” said Hamish van Wyk, a reg­is­tered di­eti­tian at the CDE.

Di­a­betes is one of the few chronic con­di­tions that can be con­trolled or even re­versed through ex­er­cise and healthy eat­ing. Yet, many suf­fer­ers were not aware of this, he said.

On Dis­cover, the first sec­tion of the CDE Club app, peo­ple with di­a­betes are able to ac­cess ed­u­ca­tional ar­ti­cles, videos and recipes. The con­tent is de­vel­oped by some of the lead­ing health­care providers in di­a­betes in South Africa. Im­por­tantly, the app asks the user clin­i­cally rel­e­vant ques­tions about their health sta­tus and, based on the an­swers, it can sug­gest con­tent specific to the user’s needs.

Van Wyk said: “Our ex­pe­ri­ence tells us that the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple with di­a­betes have many ques­tions about their con­di­tion and don’t have the an­swers.

“While the in­ten­tion of the app is not to take over the role of a di­a­betes nurse, ed­u­ca­tor or di­eti­tian, it will pro­vide in­for­ma­tion to sup­port the user’s ed­u­ca­tional jour­ney and act as a point of ref­er­ence.

“It of­fers an­swers to ques­tions such as: Why do I have di­a­betes? Will I ever need in­sulin in ad­di­tion to my pills? How many times a day should I check my blood glu­cose lev­els? and so on,” he said.

Van Wyk said paired with each ar­ti­cle was an achiev­able ac­tion to pro­vide the user with the next step for­ward. “Ba­si­cally, it pro­vides a way to put what they’ve learned into ac­tion,” he said.

For ex­am­ple, the app can re­mind the user to drink more wa­ter or to take lunch to work. Users can also track their work­outs and steps, among other things.

He said users that reg­is­ter with the CDE di­a­betes man­age­ment pro­gramme can view their on­line health record with clin­i­cal feed­back.

“This is in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant as, ul­ti­mately, the sug­gested ac­tions ideally need to trans­late into im­proved clin­i­cal out­comes, such as lower blood pres­sure,” he ex­plained.

To help with the main­te­nance of changed be­hav­iour, the next sec­tion of the app, en­cour­ages users to view and share their suc­cesses with friends and sup­port­ers.

“Life­style changes are hard to im­ple­ment alone. The true beauty of chang­ing one’s health comes through two-way sup­port. I be­lieve that if we had a com­mu­nity that en­cour­ages and sup­ports healthy liv­ing, we would not be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the cur­rent global tsunami of type 2 di­a­betes,” Van Wyk said.

The CDE Club app will have re­wards that are re­deemable at no cost. As users read ar­ti­cles, com­plete ac­tions and achieve clin­i­cal tar­gets, they will earn “badges” for which they will be re­warded with coupons for dis­counts on var­i­ous brands.

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