Introduction: DSMES is a critical component of diabetes (DM) care. Providers are expected to perform this service, but time for it is limited, especially for ongoing support. Digital tools, like mobile applications (apps) , show promise in extending efforts and supporting self-management, but have yet to be fully utilized. The purpose of this study was to examine provider insights on the role of mobile apps in DSMES delivery.
Methods: DM providers representing inpatient, outpatient, and community settings were invited to complete a validated survey about experiences with and perspectives on app use for DSMES. Survey results were recorded and summarized to capture dominant themes.
Results: Sixty providers (33% diabetes care and education specialists, DCESs, 21% endocrine clinicians) completed the survey. Of those, 17% (10/59) reported being very familiar with apps; 33% (20/59) had used an app to provide DM education while 25% (15/59) used an app for support. Respondents (77%, 46/60) primarily viewed apps as adjunct to DCES education, particularly for reinforcement. In terms of recommending apps, 90% of providers (54/60) rated patient app interest and access as most important factors to consider. In addition, 70% (42/60) agreed apps may be particularly useful to patients who use telehealth or live far from clinics. Specific to insulin, 70% agreed apps could serve as a helpful tool to prepare those new to insulin and aid with injection skills, dosing decisions and titration. Features they viewed as useful include clear set-up instructions, goal setting and digital coaching. Interestingly, outpatient DCESs reported willingness to use 15 or more minutes of visit on setting up/teaching app use, while hospital-based providers were willing to spend 5 minutes.
Conclusion: National standards recommend digital coaching as an effective method to deliver DSMES. These findings offer important feedback for introducing digital tools into clinical practice.
N.Mehrotra: None. 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