Background: Drawing on previous web-based diabetes management programs based on the Chronic Care Model, we expanded an intervention to include care management through mobile phones and a game console web browser.
Methods: The pilot intervention enrolled eight diabetes patients from the University of Washington in Seattle into a collaborative care program: connecting them to a care provider specializing in diabetes, providing access to their full electronic medical record, allowing wireless glucose uploads and e-mail with providers, and connecting them to the program's web services through a game system. To evaluate the study, we conducted qualitative thematic analysis of semistructured interviews.
Results: Participants expressed frustrations with using the cell phones and the game system in their everyday lives, but liked the wireless system for collaborating with a provider on uploaded glucoses and receiving automatic feedback on their blood sugar trends. A majority of participants also expressed that their participation in the trial increased their health awareness.
Discussion: Mobile communication technologies showed promise within a web-based collaborative care program for type 2 diabetes. Future intervention design should focus on integrating easy-to-use applications within mobile technologies already familiar to patients and ensure the system allows for sufficient collaboration with a care provider.