Friday, 30 August 2013

"Diabetes Apps"

This systematic review from researchers in Dakota looked at applications in the Apple Store and all publications between 1995 and 2012 on mobile technologies for people with diabetes.
"Research into the adoption and use of user-centered and sociotechnical design principles is needed to improve usability, perceived usefulness, and, ultimately, adoption of the technology. Proliferation and efficacy of interventions involving mobile applications will benefit from a holistic approach that takes into account patients' expectations and providers' needs." (1)
It is a good (but not thorough) update of the current status of supportive technologies for people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. They cautiously conclude that these applications improve attitudes towards diabetes and may therefore improve outcomes.

Integrating with electronic health records could be a key benefit of future developments. It is the level of engagement for the person with the diabetes and the people who help support their care that I feel is where the efficacy is - not the 'technology' per se.

1. El-Gayar O, Timsina P, Nawar N, Eid W. Mobile applications for diabetes self-management: status and potential. J Diabetes Sci Technol 2013;7(1):247–262. Available from:

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Enhancing the quality of life of carers (CCG OIS)

NICE has announced topics for the Clinical Commissioning Group Outcome Indicator Set (CCG OIS). Cancer, stroke and enhancing the quality of life for carers are among the topics covered.

Topics for latest CCG Outcomes Indicator Set announced ( 
"Professor Danny Keenan, the chair of the Advisory Committee for the Clinical Commissioning Groups Outcome Indicator Set, said:
"We're delighted to recommend this robust set of indicators for potential inclusion in the 2014/15 indicator set.

"We hope they will help the new CCGs to commission NHS services that will improve the quality of people's lives."

The CCG OIS forms part of NHS England's approach to promoting quality improvement. It will provide information on the quality of health services and outcomes provided by each CCG, which can then be accessed by patients and the public.

The set includes indicators from the NHS Outcomes Framework that can be broken down at CCG level, as well as additional indicators that can help to deliver improvements in quality.

A full list of indicators is now available following public consultation and testing carried out by NICE and the Health and Social Care Information Centre earlier in the year.

The final indicators in the CCG OIS will be agreed by NHS England, and may include indicators above and beyond those recommended by NICE"
The indicators potentially include identifying carers on practice registers and recording whether information has been given to them. This is practice to be encouraged of course - but how the growing number of 'tick boxes' is actually handled in any one consultation and whether it risks detracting from the important task of medical management needs to be addressed. Time for technological and process innovation perhaps.