Managing diabetes is tough – and managing diabetes in your child can be even more challenging. So it’s no surprise that, when given the suggestion, most parents have expressed interest in mobile phones that can collect and transmit a child’s blood sugar readings.
In a survey
conducted by Center for Connected Health
, an overwhelming majority of parents of children with diabetes said they were receptive to using basic health technology -- such as a mobile phone that could collect and transmit their child’s blood sugar readings to a doctor -- to help manage their child’s condition.
This study was published in the November issue of the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology.
Sixty-nine percent of parents of children with Type 1 diabetes (n=125) and Type 2 diabetes (n=77) completing an online survey had a ‘very positive’ response to the proposed mobile phone glucometer (blood sugar or glucose monitor) prototype.
More than half of parents expressed interest in signing up for the service.
Researchers believe that such parental concerns are likely tied to the unmet need of parents, including provider access, limited available information and support, and the complex management of children with diabetes. Nearly 30 percent of parents reported they would definitely sign up for the prototype mobile phone glucometer service, and another 27.7 percent reported they would ‘probably sign up.’
“Parents are often the primary caregivers for children with diabetes, and they must learn to adjust their child’s treatment based on signs and symptoms, which can vary from day to day,” said Alice Watson, MD, MPH, Corporate Manager, Center for Connected Health. “This can be extremely challenging during a child’s transition to adolescence.”
Marisa Torrieri is a HealthTechZone Web editor, covering IP hardware and mobility, including IP phones, smartphones, fixed-mobile convergence and satellite technology. She also compiles and regularly contributes to HealthTechZone's gadgets and satellite e-Newsletters. To read more of Marisa's articles, please visit her columnist page.
According to the study, parents were most concerned with access to their child’s provider, with 84.9 percent of parents wanting shorter waiting times and 78.7 percent easier phone access to their physician. 77.8 percent stated they would like to be able to contact their provider via e-mail to discuss their child’s diabetes.
Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in children and adolescents. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 151,000 people below the age of 20 years old have diabetes. Each year, more than 13,000 children and adolescents are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
Edited by Marisa Torrieri