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Critical Design Factors for Information Technology Supporting Type 1 Diabetes Management

Background: During childhood, patients with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) are reliant on an informal caregiver (parent or guardian) for day-to-day disease management. Upon entering adolescence, patients are expected to adopt a greater role in self-management. However, adolescents often have difficulty adhering to management regimens, which can lead to poor health outcomes. There is a need for a technology that addresses the compound social and technical needs of these patients and their informal caregivers while filling the gaps of current information technology management tools. Methods: Through an IRB-approved process, group and individual interviews were conducted with ten adolescents with T1D ranging in age from 11-17 and informal caregivers. The purpose of these interviews was to learn about 1) adolescents' day-to-day management of T1D, 2) the role of the informal caregiver and 3) the role of technology in this management. Findings: Qualitative content analysis presented four key themes: the person (the adolescent and informal caregiver), the interactions between the adolescent and informal caregiver, interactions with technology, and physical environments where these interactions occur. These themes led to the development of user-centered design considerations. Final design recommendations included the importance of customization, integration with current T1D technologies, accessibility while maintaining security, and diabetes education. Conclusions: These findings provide insight into remote monitoring features that must be properly addressed in order to ease adolescents' transition to self-management and promote long-term adherence.

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Type of Work
Conference paper
Publication Year
Journal Titles
2016 Ieee Systems and Information Engineering Design Symposium
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