The Diabetes App Challenge: User-Led Development and Piloting of Internet Applications Enabling Young People With Diabetes to Set the Focus for Their Diabetes Consultations

South West Peninsula
Published Date: 7 Nov 2014


Traditionally, some teenagers and young adults with diabetes have not engaged well at diabetes appointments, giving rise to concerns about long-term health risks. We considered that apps might help this group of patients to improve preparation for, and therefore engagement at their appointments. Although there are already many apps for young people with type 1 diabetes (YPD), we thought that by supporting YPD themselves to develop apps, the resulting products would have greater “authenticity” and relevance.


To test the feasibility of an online competition to (1) recruit and support YPD to develop apps (mobile or Internet based) to help prepare for clinic appointments, and (2) for these apps to be tested and rated by YPD.


Of 56 people (including 28 YPD) who expressed interest in the competition, 6 teams (14 people) developed and submitted an app. Two apps aimed to facilitate agenda setting in clinic consultations, 2 enabled data logging and 2 helped insulin dose calculation. Of 135 YPD who registered to trial the apps, 83 (61.5%) took part (mean age 18.98, 37/83 male). Agenda setting apps were considered most useful for preparing for and setting the focus of clinic appointments (P=.02). Just over half (46/83, 55%) said they would use their chosen app again and 4/5 (67/83, 81%) would recommend it to a friend.


Ray B. Jones