Original Research

Choosing an effective mobile health application to help manage Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus effectively

Wafeequa Dinath, Martie Mearns
SA Journal of Information Management | Vol 21, No 1 | a1050 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v21i1.1050 | © 2019 Wafeequa Dinath, Martie Mearns | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 October 2018 | Published: 15 July 2019

About the author(s)

Wafeequa Dinath, Department of Information and Knowledge Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Martie Mearns, Department of Information and Knowledge Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The current era can be called a mobile health revolution as medical applications created for smartphones are flourishing in the market. Individuals living with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM) need to count carbohydrates, monitor blood glucose levels and determine insulin dosages.

Objective: By finding out which mobile health applications individuals living with diabetes are using to manage their illness effectively, a set of recommendations could be developed to support individuals who are less effective in managing their condition to use when choosing and using these specific mobile health applications.

Method: A qualitative research methodology was carried out to investigate how mobile health applications can assist individuals with managing diabetes more effectively. Evaluation criteria tools were used to rate specific mobile health applications for diabetes self-management, and focus group interviews were conducted to find out about the views, opinions and experiences of the individuals who used the mobile health applications.

Results: The findings showed that selecting the correct type of mobile health application to manage their diabetes better is possible. Based on this, recommendations were then developed for individuals to effectively use mobile health applications to help them manage their diabetes as well as recommendations for healthcare practitioners to encourage individuals to make use of mobile health applications and for application developers to improve their mobile health applications.

Conclusion: Recommendations for using mHealth apps effectively have been established to help individuals manage their T1DM, provided that the individual is committed to using the mobile health application correctly.


Keywords

Mobile health applications; Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus; diabetes self-management recommendations; healthcare practitioners; application developers.

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