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Smartphone Application and Diabetes Reminder Management

The proposed intervention implies the implementation of smartphone applications aimed at managing diabetes. One suggests that the following practice is likely to be mutually beneficial for a patient and a practitioner. The intervention has a lot of advantages, including its wide availability, low cost, and innovative character.

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Nowadays, the fact that the diabetes problem has become highly acute seems to be unquestioned. According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 29.1 million people of the USA population have diabetes, and this number keeps increasing (National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014). Although health care institutions worldwide make a lot of effort to resolve the problem, it is evident that the introduction of new interventions approaches is still necessary. Due to the development of modern technologies, one has an opportunity to work out new preventative and monitoring strategies. On the basis of the analysis of the existing resources, their availability, and cost-effectiveness, one suggests that diabetes centers implement smartphone applications in order to perform an effective diabetes management. The proposed practice may be applied to enable health care workers to pursue the treatment process and make timely changes in the strategy. It is presumed that the implementation of the smartphone applications will also improve the self-discipline among diabetes patients and, thus, will have a positive effect on the treatment’s results.

Numerous studies show that most beneficial results are, as a rule, achieved on condition that an extra controlling factor is introduced. Thus, for example, a few years ago, group of scholars carried out a research in order to check whether diabetes treatment can be improved on condition that patients receive particular medical packaging on the regular basis instead of organizing the medication taking process themselves. The participants were supposed not only to take particular medicines in certain time, but they also had to register all their actions so that the health care workers could monitor the progress. The following research showed that the necessity to report the drug intake raised the patients’ consciousness and improved the general disciplinary level. As a consequence, the participants performed a better accomplishment of their prescriptions that had a positive impact on their condition (Simmons, Upjohn, & Gamble, 2000).

The application of various technologies in the quality of regulating or screening tools is not an innovative idea as well. The beneficial influence of the so-called telemedicine has been described by a group of European researchers. According to their study, diabetes patients’ treatment is likely to show better results in case it includes modern technologies that, on the one hand, help a patient register his or her behavior and, on the other hand, enable the practitioner to monitor the treatment process (Toledo, Ruppert, Huber, & Siminerio, 2014). Whereas the research mentioned above mainly enlightens the usage of computers and laptops, the study of an American professor, Wylie-Rosett, focuses specifically on the benefits of telephones’ application (Wylie-Rosett, 2014). Therefore, one might claim that the practicability of the suggested intervention has a strong scientific support; its efficacy has been admitted by numerous professionals in the relevant field.

Thus, the proposed practice consists in the introduction of smartphone applications aimed at improving diabetes management. Nowadays, the variety of such applications is enormous. Among the most popular tools, one can point out the Diabetes Buddy that helps to handle all the data regarding the glucose level, carbohydrate intake, and other important points. Another convenient application is the Diabetes Pilot that is a calculator designed to facilitate the insulin level control. Apart from entering the targeted data in the virtual diaries, one also has an opportunity to e-mail the relevant report to the doctor with the help of these applications.

The key idea of the proposed practice is that the introduction of the smartphone applications can simultaneously resolve two problems. First of all, one assumes that the necessity of filling in a special report form is likely to improve the patient’s self-controlling skill. The regular review of the records of the diet’s menu and the medical intake will help one work out a better regime and stick to the doctor’s prescriptions more accurately. Moreover, thanks to the calculator option, a patient will also receive an opportunity to manage the diet. A quick access to the daily menu overview will enable one to make it healthier and exclude the unwanted ingredients. Therefore, the following applications will perform the role of a virtual reminder that will assist the patient in reaching his aim.

On the other side, the smartphone applications are also supposed to facilitate the monitoring process for a health care worker. Thanks to the following tools, a medical professional will have a chance to receive a precise and regular data on the patient’s progress. This point is highly important as the oral reports patients provide during appointments are often subjective and contradict the reality. The lack of details might be misleading and prevent a professional from performing an adequate assessment of the implied therapy’s efficacy. Thus, the introduction of smartphone tools is likely to exclude the possibility of potential misinformation that will subsequently enable a practitioner to make necessary allowances whenever it is required.

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Despite the fact, that the suggested implementation is theoretically available to all the representative of the modern society, experience shows that the introduction of new technologies is more successful with young and middle-aged people. Various studies point out that elderly patients tend to accept the innovative technologies rather unwillingly, preferring conservative forms of treatment, instead (Toledo et al., 2014). Meanwhile, one assumes that the simplicity of the suggested applications as well as their convenient design might make the intervention equally attracted for all the patients regardless of their age.

One of the key benefits of the suggested practice is its cost-effectiveness. In fact, the implementation of smartphones applications for diabetes’s control will not require any extra expenses on condition that one already has a smartphone. Unlike many other interventions connected with modern technologies, the proposed approach does not imply the expenses on the health-care organization’s side either. Thus, all the equipment essential for the realization of the following idea is a laptop with an Internet access so that a practitioner is able to check on the patient’s reports once in a while.

As far as the realization of the suggested innovative theory does not require additional charges, one can suppose that the diffusion of the practice will not meet many challenges. In order to turn this experience into a widely-applied practice, the implementation of smartphone applications is to be adapted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Thus, according to the CDC’s official program, no attempt has been made so far in order to introduce the latest technologies in the activity of the centers. Meanwhile, the following applications are likely to contribute to the formation of a closer patient-practitioner relation that the CDC regards as one of the primary aims (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program, 2015).

To evaluate the efficacy of the proposed intervention, one suggests applying the principle that CDC uses for its programs evaluation. According to it, the potential outcomes are assessed in accordance with initial targeting and are divided into three groups: short-term, immediate, and long-term (Effective Public Health Strategies to Prevent and Control Diabetes, 2013). Thus, among the short-term outcomes, one might expect that CDC’s implementation of smartphone applications will attract a vast audience and encourage diabetes patients to use the relevant technologies as an assistant tool for regulating their treatment process. In the intermediate perspective, one suggests that it will be possible to claim that the proposed intervention has helped to improve the general diabetes self-management. Among the long-term outcomes, one should necessarily point out the reduced morbidity due to diabetes.

In conclusion, one can state that the proposed intervention has a series of benefits that makes it different from other interventions implying the use of modern technologies. First of all, the previous research has shown that the integrations of phones and other communication tools have a positive influence on the regime of a diabetes patient. Secondly, the following innovation will open up a lot of opportunities for practitioners enabling them to set a closer contact with their patients and to receive a detailed report on the treatment’s progress. Finally, the implementation of the relevant practice requires no extra expenses either on the part of a patient or the health care institution’s side, as long as one has a smartphone and an Internet access. One firmly believes that the introduction of the described approach is likely to be highly beneficial for the health care system’s performance.

Reference List

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program. (2015). Web.

Effective Public Health Strategies to Prevent and Control Diabetes. (2013). Web.

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National Diabetes Statistics Report. (2014). Web.

Simmons, D., Upjohn, M., & Gamble, G.D. (2000). Can Medication Packaging Improve Glycemic Control and Blood Pressure in Type 2 Diabetes? Diabetes Care, 23(2), 153-156.

Toledo, F.G.S., Ruppert, K., Huber, K.A., & Siminerio, L.M. (2014). Efficacy of the Telemedicine for Reach, Education, Access, and Treatment (TREAT) Model for Diabetes Care. Diabetes Care, 37(1), 179-180.

Wylie-Rosett, J. (2014). Weight-Loss Intervention by Telephone: Lessons Learned. Diabetes Care, 37(1), 2078-2080.

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