How to choose among the many diabetes apps and online resources?
Apps and online resources for diabetes self-management are overwhelmingly diverse. Therefore, the task of choosing the most trustworthy and best resources for one’s needs and preferences is challenging. We present interview results regarding how various stakeholders choose diabetes self-management resources.
We conducted semi-structured interviews with stakeholders (n=11) in Norway (2 participants with diabetes; 2 informal caregivers (e.g. relatives); 2 researchers; 2 policymakers; 2 healthcare professionals (HCPs); 1 developer) and analysed responses using thematic analysis. We asked how they choose apps and online resources to use, recommend or develop, including which characteristics they consider favourable.
Policymakers and HCPs prefer apps and online resources with quality-assured information. Researchers choose apps based on scientists’ and developers’ recommendations, focusing on apps that function on multiple platforms and contain quality content. The developer chooses efficient and easy-to-use apps based on reports on trends and projects. Informal caregivers were influenced by peer recommendations, focusing on apps with remote-monitoring and tailorability. Participants with diabetes choose resources that address their self-management foci; do not request access to private information; and provide automatic data-recording and blood-glucose graphs.
The various stakeholders have different foci when choosing diabetes apps and online resources. Researchers and health authorities should create and disseminate evidence-based guidelines on stakeholder-specific platforms to assist stakeholders to develop, recommend or use validated and trustworthy self-management resources.