Sparrow, MSU join forces to develop self-testing diabetes app for teens

Sparrow has teamed with an assistant professor and researchers from Michigan State University to develop a smartphone app that will allow teens with type-1 diabetes to manage their condition with greater ease and independence.
The app will enable teens transitioning to self-care to test and track their blood glucose levels without constant reminders from their parents. Once the app is developed, a focus group of teens and parents will test it for ease of use and messaging components.
The project received funding from the American Diabetes Association in early 2016, and will be led by Bree Holtz, an MSU assistant professor with a dual appointment in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations and the Department of Media and Information.
"This grant will help my research team to succeed in our mission to ease the daily life of adolescents with type 1 diabetes," says Holtz. "We are so grateful that the American Diabetes Association is offering their support to the project."
The app will also offer cues for possible follow-up based on current clinical care guidelines.
"Use of the app is a tech-savvy way for teens to receive reminders to test and document their glucose levels, meals and insulin doses," says Julie Dunneback, a nurse practioner in Sparrow's Pediatric Endocrinology Clinic.
About 208,000 Americans under age 20 are estimated to have diagnosed diabetes—or approximately 2% of that population. The ADA recommends the gradual transition to self-management during middle and high school years.
The team of specialists working with Holtz includes Shelia Cotten, Denise Hershey, Amanda Holmstrom, Amol Pavangadkar, and Katharine Murray, from MSU; Dunneback and Arpita Vyas from Sparrow; Michael Wood from the University of Michigan Medical School; and Joshua Richman from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Source: Lori Dougovito, Communications Specialist, Sparrow
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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