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User Centered Design to Improve Information Exchange in Diabetes Care Through eHealth

Results from a Small Scale Exploratory Study
: Fico, Giuseppe; Martinez-Millana, Antonio; Leuteritz, Jan-Paul; Fioravanti, Alessio; Beltrán-Jaunsarás, Maria Eugenia; Traver, Vicente; Arredondo, Mariá Teresa


Journal of medical systems 44 (2020), Art. 2, 12 pp.
ISSN: 1573-689X
ISSN: 0148-5598
European Commission EC
FP7-ICT; 216270; METABO
Controlling Chronic Diseases related to Metabolic Disorders
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IAO ()

Heterogeneity of people with diabetes makes maintaining blood glucose control and achieving therapy adherence a challenge. It is fundamental that patients get actively involved in the management of the disease in their living environments. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the use and acceptance of a self-management system for diabetes developed with User Centered Design Principles in community settings. Persons with diabetes and health professionals were involved the design, development and evaluation of the self-management system; which comprised three iterative cycles: scenario definition, user archetype definition and system development. A comprehensive system was developed integrating modules for the management of blood glucose levels, medication, food intake habits, physical activity, diabetes education and messaging. The system was adapted for two types of principal users (personas): Type 1 Diabetes user and Type 2 Diabetes user. The system was evaluated by assessing the use, the compliance, the attractiveness and perceived usefulness in a multicenter randomized pilot study involving 20 patients and 24 treating professionals for a period of four weeks. Usage and compliance of the co-designed system was compared during the first and the last two weeks of the study, showing a significantly improved behaviour of patients towards the system for each of the modules. This resulted in a successful adoption by both type of personas. Only the medication module showed a significantly different use and compliance (p=0.01) which can be explained by the different therapeutic course of the two types of diabetes. The involvement of patients to make their own decisions and choices form design stages was key for the adoption of a self-management system for diabetes.