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007 Navigating digital healthcare: a patient-centered exploration of technology’s impact in diabetes management
  1. Misk Al Zahidy1,
  2. Sue Simha1,
  3. Mariana Borras-Osorio1,
  4. Megan Branda1,
  5. Viet-Thi Tran4,
  6. Jennifer Ridgeway1,2,
  7. Victor Montori1,3
  1. 1Knowledge and Evaluation Research Unit, Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, USA
  2. 2Kern Center for the Science of Healthcare Delivery, Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, USA
  3. 3Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, and Nutrition, Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, USA
  4. 4Université Paris Cité, Cress, Inserm, Inrae, F-75004 Paris, France

Abstract

Introduction Digital medical devices (e.g., continuous glucose monitors), healthcare apps, and electronic health record tools like patient portals have significantly altered patient self-management and treatment, particularly for patients with chronic conditions.1–3 Despite their prevalence, the extent to which digital tools affect cumulative treatment burden and impact quality of life remains unknown.4 Understanding the patient‘s experience with these tools, including the work that patients do to integrate them into their self-management routine, is pivotal in developing patient-centered, technology-integrated care plans.5

Objective This qualitative study aimed to understand the experiences of patients with diabetes using digital care tools for healthcare self-management.

Methods This study took place within the endocrinology division at Mayo Clinic. Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted in-person with diabetic patients. The interview guides queried experiences with digital tools, including topics related to patient treatment burden. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using methods of content analysis.

Results Between September and October 2023, 20 interviews were completed. Preliminary findings indicate a range of patient attitudes toward digital healthcare tools, highlighting themes of technology integration, usability, and lifestyle and mobility constraints that affect quality of life. Factors such as age impacted technology adoption, and potential correlation between digital intensity use and the complexity and frequency of challenges was observed. Conversely, some patients reported that digital tools have enhanced the management of their health.

Discussion Our findings suggest digital tools may support self-management, but they may also add self- management burden for patients with chronic health challenges, especially among patients whose use several tools, including those that are more difficult to integrate into daily routines or require compatibility.

Conclusion Acknowledging the varied impacts of digital healthcare tools is essential for tailoring patient-centered approaches that facilitate shared decision making and optimize health outcomes.

References

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  2. Ramakrishnan P, Yan K, Balijepalli C, et al. Changing face of healthcare: digital therapeutics in the management of diabetes. Curr Med Res Opin 2021;37(12):2089–91. doi: 10.1080/03007995.2021.1976737 [published Online First: 20210923].

  3. Refolo P, Sacchini D, Raimondi C, et al. Ethics of digital therapeutics (DTx). Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2022;26(18):6418–23. doi: 10.26355/eurrev_202209_29741.

  4. Schretzlmaier P, Hecker A, Ammenwerth E. Suitability of the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology 2 model for predicting mHealth acceptance using diabetes as an example: qualitative methods triangulation study. JMIR Hum Factors 2022;9(1):e34918. doi: 10.2196/34918 [published Online First: 20220309].

  5. Heen AF, Vandvik PO, Brandt L, Montori VM, Lytvyn L, Guyatt G, ... & Agoritsas T. A framework for practical issues was developed to inform shared decision-making tools and clinical guidelines. Journal of clinical epidemiology, 2021;129:104–113.

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