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Title: Exploring the potential of using mobile applications in diabetes management
Author: Alhodaib, Hala
ISNI:       0000 0004 7224 5031
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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Background Diabetes mellitus is a common chronic disease and a leading cause of morbidity, complications and mortality worldwide. The number of people living with diabetes is projected to rise sharply over the forthcoming decades. Diabetes care is complex and can overburden clinicians and nurses. There is a need for innovative, flexible and cost-effective technologies to enable successful diabetes management. This thesis explores the opportunities and challenges of the mobile application (app) technology as a potential tool to support diabetes care and management. Purpose The purpose was to develop and evaluate a mobile app that supports healthcare professionals (HCPs) in clinical decision-making. Methods A mixed-methods approach was used following the user-centred design (UCD) framework for the design and implementation of all studies. Quantitative and qualitative systematic reviews of studies reporting the use of mobile apps to support diabetes management were undertaken to identify, appraise and summarise available research evidence. An interview study was carried out with diabetes specialist nurses (DSNs), to explore their experiences and views, and to identify user requirements for apps. Lastly, a guidelines-based mobile clinical decision-support app was developed and tested with junior doctors and DSNs in a controlled environment to evaluate its usability and impact on adherence to clinical guidelines, and to explore how participants experienced the app and their suggestions for improvements. Results Both reviews found that the existing evidence base for mobile apps is weak and inadequate to draw conclusions about the impact of their use as interventions in diabetes management. The interview study identified that nurses lack experience in using apps in clinical practice, even though they believed it could facilitate and support their work. ‘Diabetes & CKD’, a simple mobile decision-support app, has been designed and built for the study to assist HCPs in management of patients with diabetes and kidney disease and was tested by 39 junior doctors and 3 DSNs. It had no impact on the accuracy of decisions. Feedback from participants after the pilot session and usability testing indicated a wish to integrate such apps into their clinical practice with a strong willingness to use them in the future. Conclusions Application of UCD methods was efficient as the app was well-accepted by both DSNs and junior doctors. Despite the positive views and the strong willingness to use such apps, they are not widely used. There is a need to regulate the use of medical apps in clinical practice. Further research with rigorous methodology is required upon which policymakers and practitioners can base their decision-making.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Jāmiʻat al-Malik Saʻūd
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RC Internal medicine