Background

Mobile health tools may be effective strategies to improve engagement, education, and diabetes-related health during pregnancy. We developed SweetMama, a patient-centered, interactive mobile application (app) designed to support and educate low-income pregnant people with diabetes. Our objective was to evaluate the SweetMama user experience and acceptability.

Methods

SweetMama is a mobile app with static and dynamic features. Static features include a customized homepage and resource library. Dynamic features include delivery of a theory-driven diabetes-specific curriculum via 1) motivational, tip, and goal-setting messages aligning with treatment and gestational age; 2) appointment reminders; and 3) ability to mark content as “favorite.” In this usability assessment, low-income pregnant people with gestational or type 2 diabetes used SweetMama for 2 weeks. Participants provided qualitative feedback (via interviews) and quantitative feedback (via validated usability/satisfaction measures) on their experience. User analytic data detailed the duration and type of interactions users had with SweetMama.

Results

Of 24 individuals enrolled, 23 used SweetMama and 22 completed exit interviews. Participants were mostly non-Hispanic Black (46%) or Hispanic (38%) individuals. Over the 14-day period, users accessed SweetMama frequently (median number of log-ins 8 [interquartile range 6–10]), for a median of 20.5 total minutes, and engaged all features. A majority (66.7%) rated SweetMama as having moderate or high usability. Participants emphasized design and technical strengths and beneficial effects on diabetes self-management and also identified limitations of the user experience.

Conclusion

Pregnant people with diabetes found SweetMama to be user-friendly, informative, and engaging. Future work must study its feasibility for use throughout pregnancy and its efficacy to improve perinatal outcomes.

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