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Telemed J E Health. 2016 Jul;22(7):614-9. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2015.0184. Epub 2016 May 12.

Characteristics of Chinese m-Health Applications for Diabetes Self-Management.

Author information

1
1 School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin , Austin, Texas.
2
2 School of Information, The University of Texas at Austin , Austin, Texas.
3
3 Department of Endocrinology, Sichuan Academy of Medical Sciences & Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital , Chengdu, Sichuan, China .
4
4 Department of Diabetes Education, 2nd Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine , Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China .

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To examine the features and types of health information provided in Chinese diabetes mobile applications (apps) for patients' self-management.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Through multiple rounds of screening, we identified a total of 95 relevant iOS (Apple, Cupertino, CA) and Androidâ„¢ (Google, Mountain View, CA) apps and examined each app's features and health information types based on each app's description in the app stores. We used a 15-feature algorithm to evaluate the apps' abilities for supporting diabetic patients' self-management, based on U.S. national standards for diabetes self-management. We also adapted the health information wants framework to analyze the types of information that the apps provided for diabetic patients.

RESULTS:

Diabetes education was the most common feature, provided by 75% of the apps. Blood glucose checking was enabled by 65% of the apps. Diet management, insulin checking, and physical activity monitoring were enabled by 53%, 49%, and 44% of the apps, respectively. Only a small percentage of the apps enabled psychosocial support (29%) or tracking of blood pressure (14%), cholesterol (14%), or body mass index (11%). None of the apps provided all seven types of information posited by the health information wants framework. Only a small percentage of the apps provided information about psychosocial support (29%), healthcare providers (24%), or healthcare facilities (24%). Information about complementary and alternative medicine was the least likely type of information provided in the apps, with only 7% of the apps providing this type of information.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings have important implications for improving the quality of Chinese diabetes mobile apps to facilitate patients' self-management.

KEYWORDS:

e-health; mobile health; technology; telehealth

PMID:
27171016
PMCID:
PMC5824655
DOI:
10.1089/tmj.2015.0184
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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