Mobile Health to Stop Diabetes

Every day, countless actions are taking place to help Stop Diabetes®. Sometimes it’s making a healthy choice, other times it’s advocating on behalf of people who have diabetes, and other times it’s taking research to the next level. Could using your cell phone be another way to confront this serious disease?

Today at Scientific Sessions the American Diabetes Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced that they have joined forces in a mobile health (also known as mHealth) program that will focus on diabetes prevention and management.

The ONC has been working with 17 diverse communities across the United States to harness health information technology to improve health care outcomes as a part of the Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program. Starting this fall, two of these communities – Detroit and New Orleans – will launch public health campaigns that leverage mHealth technology to help individuals assess their risk of type 2 diabetes as well as provide them with health information and access to local health and wellness resources to better manage their health.

“We want to ensure that people who are at risk for diabetes, but who may not have many resources at their disposal, or who may not realize they need to take preventive health measures, can navigate their way to the health resources they need,” said Vivian Fonseca, MD, who is the President-Elect, Medicine & Science. “Type 2 diabetes and its complications are often preventable, but only if people know their risk factors and address those areas where they may be at risk.”

These new campaigns in Detroit and New Orleans will act as pilots to:

  • Design tools and interventions
  • Develop effective ways to use local resources
  • Connect patients with their health care team
  • Evaluate this approach to connecting at risk people with the care they need

The pilots will inform other Beacon Communities across the nation to help make the most effective use of health IT approaches in addressing very specific health and health care challenges.

So the next time you notice someone whose eyes seem glued to his or her cell phone, just think: they might be getting the critical health information they need to help Stop Diabetes.

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