Development of a computer-aided text message platform for user engagement with a digital Diabetes Prevention Program: a case study

J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021 Dec 28;29(1):155-162. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocab206.


Digital Diabetes Prevention Programs (dDPP) are novel mHealth applications that leverage digital features such as tracking and messaging to support behavior change for diabetes prevention. Despite their clinical effectiveness, long-term engagement to these programs remains a challenge, creating barriers to adherence and meaningful health outcomes. We partnered with a dDPP vendor to develop a personalized automatic message system (PAMS) to promote user engagement to the dDPP platform by sending messages on behalf of their primary care provider. PAMS innovates by integrating into clinical workflows. User-centered design (UCD) methodologies in the form of iterative cycles of focus groups, user interviews, design workshops, and other core UCD activities were utilized to defined PAMS requirements. PAMS uses computational tools to deliver theory-based, automated, tailored messages, and content to support patient use of dDPP. In this article, we discuss the design and development of our system, including key requirements and features, the technical architecture and build, and preliminary user testing.

Keywords: digital diabetes prevention; digital health; digital prescription engagement; mHealth; mobile health; software development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Computers
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / prevention & control
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Telemedicine* / methods
  • Text Messaging*