Implementation of the Australian Diabetes in Pregnancy (ADIP-2014) guidelines increased the number of women diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) at Redland Hospital.
Women use paper diaries to record blood glucose levels (BGL’s) that is inconvenient, time consuming and ineffective, rendering sharing of health care for these women suboptimal and resource intensive. To improve care, a digital platform called M♡THer, consisting of a smartphone app to support women with GDM and an Internet-based interactive system for their treating clinicians was developed by CSIRO in collaboration with Redland Hospital. The project was funded by Metro South Health (MSH), Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the Executive Planning and Innovation Committee (EPIC).
A pilot study was conducted to investigate the effectiveness, convenience and user-friendliness of the M♡THer platform.
Methods Pilot study
40 women diagnosed with GDM between 24-28 weeks gestation (nil previous GDM) were recruited. The smartphone App uploaded the readings to the portal when the women manually or by Bluetooth entered their BGL’s to their meter. Clinicians reviewed the BGL’s results at any time via the portal. Incorporated into the App are: personal goals, exercise, diet and educational multimedia content links. Post-delivery a user experience survey was sent to all participants (women and staff involved in their care).
40 women participated, 8 women were identified with elevated readings in the first week of using the app enabling early intervention. Due to elevated fasting BGL’s, 12 were commenced on Metformin, 8 were commenced on insulin.
A survey response from the women showed the app is user friendly, convenient, and continuation is highly recommended. Treating clinicians reported improved communication with the women they treat and showed an increase in multi-disciplinary co-ordination amongst themselves.
The pilot study has confirmed that this technology works for women with GDM. Use of the M♡THer platform improved Holistic care, accurate reporting of BGLs, client satisfaction and increased communication between multi-disciplinary team staff.