Design and Testing of a Smartphone Application for Real-Time Self-Tracking Diabetes Self-Management Behaviors

Danielle Groat, Hiral Soni, Maria Grando, Bithika Thompson, David Kaufman, Curtiss B. Cook

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Scopus citations


    Background Type 1 diabetes (T1D) care requires multiple daily self-management behaviors (SMBs). Preliminary studies on SMBs rely mainly on self-reported survey and interview data. There is little information on adult T1D SMBs, along with corresponding compensation techniques (CTs), gathered in real-time. Objective The article aims to use a patient-centered approach to design iDECIDE, a smartphone application that gathers daily diabetes SMBs and CTs related to meal and alcohol intake and exercise in real-time, and contrast patients' actual behaviors against those self-reported with the app. Methods Two usability studies were used to improve iDECIDE's functionality. These were followed by a 30-day pilot test of the redesigned app. A survey designed to capture diabetes SMBs and CTs was administered prior to the 30-day pilot test. Survey results were compared against iDECIDE logs. Results Usability studies revealed that participants desired advanced features for self-tracking meals and alcohol intake. Thirteen participants recorded over 1,200 CTs for carbohydrates during the 30-day study. Participants also recorded 76 alcohol and 166 exercise CTs. Comparisons of survey responses and iDECIDE logs showed mean% (standard deviation) concordance of 77% (25) for SMBs related to meals, where concordance of 100% indicates a perfect match. There was low concordance of 35% (35) and 46% (41) for alcohol and exercise events, respectively. Conclusion The high variability found in SMBs and CTs highlights the need for real-time diabetes self-tracking mechanisms to better understand SMBs and CTs. Future work will use the developed app to collect SMBs and CTs and identify patient-specific diabetes adherence barriers that could be addressed with individualized education interventions.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)440-449
    Number of pages10
    JournalApplied Clinical Informatics
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


    • diabetes
    • patient self-care
    • smartphone
    • survey
    • usability testing

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health Informatics
    • Computer Science Applications
    • Health Information Management


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