Diabetes mellitus (DM) -related hospitalizations are recognized as important opportunities for self-management intervention. Yet, there remains a need for practical delivery strategies.
Objective: To assess provider perspectives on DM mobile apps as a tool for self-management education and support in the inpatient setting.
Methods: Healthcare professionals (n=33) who oversee or provide DM care and education to hospitalized patients completed a validated survey about DM mobile apps.
Results: Only 21% of respondents had previously used an app for DM education. Of those who had never used a DM app, 100% indicated that they would consider recommending one to their patients. For 82% of respondents, patient access to and interest in app use were rated as the most important factors in their decision to recommend apps. Patient acuity and time were also noted as key considerations. In fact, 54% of respondents were only willing to spend 5 minutes to download and teach app use. Hospitalized patients considered best candidates for apps are those newly diagnosed with DM, new to insulin, admitted with a DM-related complication, or requiring additional education/support (change in treatment plan) . Perceived benefits of apps in relation to self-management were to reinforce education (71%) , support education with trustworthy information (62%) , and serve as a resource after discharge (56%) . Some respondents also foresaw a role for apps in teaching patients during hospitalization, especially younger patients generally viewed as more interested in apps. Most respondents agreed the following features are important for apps in education and support: Content is developed by DM experts (91%) , provide answer to basic DM self-management questions (96%) , user experience can be customized (91%) , and include features for logging/tracking glucose results (91%) .
Conclusions: Hospital-based providers offer valuable insights into DM app use. Exposing them to apps to support patient self-management warrants strong consideration.
J.S.Krall: Research Support; Becton, Dickinson and Company, Sanofi. J.Ng: Research Support; Sanofi. L.M.Siminerio: Advisory Panel; Abbott, Bayer AG, Research Support; Becton, Dickinson and Company, Sanofi.
Becton, Dickinson and Company