Using Patient-Generated Health Data From Mobile Technologies for Diabetes Self-Management Support: Provider Perspectives From an Academic Medical Center

J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2014 Jan;8(1):74-82. doi: 10.1177/1932296813511727. Epub 2014 Jan 1.


Background: Mobile health and patient-generated health data are promising health IT tools for delivering self-management support in diabetes, but little is known about provider perspectives on how best to integrate these programs into routine care. We explored provider perceptions of a patient-generated health data report from a text-message-based diabetes self-management program. The report was designed to relay clinically relevant data obtained from participants' responses to self-assessment questions delivered over text message.

Methods: Likert-type scale response surveys and in-depth interviews were conducted with primary care physicians and endocrinologists who pilot tested the patient-generated health data report in an actual clinical encounter. Interview guides were designed to assess providers' perceptions of the feasibility and utility of patient-generated health data in routine clinical practice. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, and analyzed using the constant comparative method.

Results: Twelve providers successfully piloted the summary report in clinic. Although only a minority of providers felt the report changed the care they provided (3 of 12 or 25%), most were willing to use the summary report in a future clinical encounter (9 of 12 or 75%). Perceived benefits of patient-generated health data included agenda setting, assessment of self-care, and identification of patient barriers. Major themes discussed included patient selection, reliability of patient-generated health information, and integration into clinical workflow.

Conclusion: Providers perceived multiple benefits of patient-generated health data in overcoming common barriers to self-management support in clinical practice and found the summary report feasible and usable in a clinical context.

Keywords: diabetes; electronic health record; electronic medical record; meaningful use; mobile health; mobile phone; patient-generated health data; self-management; self-management support; text messaging.