Researchers at the University of California San Francisco found that patient-facing health apps for managing diabetes and other chronic conditions are ineffective among low-income users.
Published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, “Usability of Commercially Available Mobile Applications for Diverse Patients” assessed the efficacy of 11 popular health apps. The participants, who included African American, Asian, Latino and White patients and caregivers, were able to complete only 43% of basic tasks without assistance.
Diabetes disproportionately affects poor communities, meaning health apps fail where solutions are needed the most. The study authors urged app developers to involve users in the design process, but there is also the challenge of a technology gap related to age and poverty. Smartphone ownership is lowest where diabetes rates are highest, among older adults and people of low income. It’s also worth noting that most people with diabetes eventually need insulin therapy, which requires a clinician to regularly review and adjust the patient’s dosage.
Insulin Algorithms software is designed for clinicians. It doesn’t require the patient to learn a new technology or own a smartphone. Learn more