Design, construction, and implementation of an online platform for patients with type 1 diabetes: EncoDiab
Received 18 November 2014
Accepted for publication 8 January 2015
Published 15 June 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 767—775
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen
Dácil Alvarado-Martel,1,2,* Francesca Cañas,3,* Rebeca Velasco,1 Nuria Alcubierre,3 Laura López-Ríos,1,2 Ferran Rius,4 Francisco Javier Nóvoa,1,2 Armando Carrillo,1,2 Marta Hernández,3,4 Ana María Wägner,1,2,* Dídac Mauricio5,6,*
1Department of Endocrinology and Nutrition, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario Insular Materno-Infantil de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spain; 2Instituto Universitario de Investigaciones Biomédicas y Sanitarias, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spain; 3Department of Endocrinology and Nutrition, Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Lleida (IRBLleida), Lleida, Spain; 4Department of Endocrinology and Nutrition, Hospital Universitari Arnau de Vilanova, Lleida, Spain; 5Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Spain; 6Health Sciences Research Institute Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Spain
*These authors contributed equally to this work
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to develop, build, and implement a virtual platform equipped with practical tools, relevant contents, and communication rooms, with the aim of facilitating patients’ self-management of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).
Materials and methods: The design of the platform was based on the suggestions of T1DM patients who were being managed at two reference hospitals. Patients’ needs and preferences were identified in group discussion sessions. Before having access to the platform, patients underwent a baseline assessment, which included physical examination and the administration of validated questionnaires for evaluation of clinical background, quality of life, treatment satisfaction, and well-being.
Results: A total of 33 patients were included in the study; 54.5% of them were men, their median age was 34 (18–50) years, the median duration of diabetes was 15 (1–38) years, and the median A1C was 7.4% (6%–12.6%). Based on their suggestions and requests, the online platform EncoDiab was built and organized into four domains: a personal domain, two domains shared by the patients and the staff of each of the two participating hospitals, and one domain that was accessible to all participants. The platform included practical tools (a body mass index calculator, a carbohydrate counting tool, and an insulin-dose calculator), a library with relevant information (documents on prevention and treatment of acute complications, nutrition, exercise, etc), and a chat room.
Conclusion: Although the study is still ongoing, our current results demonstrate the feasibility of building and implementing an online platform for helping T1DM patients in the self-management of their disease in the public health setting.
Keywords: eHealth, behavioral health, telehealth, education
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