Mobile Health Data is a powerful tool for the healthcare industry. Learn about how Diabetes Queensland utilised mobile health data to help in threat Australians.
Mobile Health Data provides immediate “on the spot” assessments
Diabetes Queensland is the peak body for people with diabetes in Queensland. The organisation works to improve the lives of all people affected by all types of diabetes, including improving the health and wellness of people living with diabetes as well as reducing the incidence of preventable type 2 diabetes across the State.
Type 2 diabetes is the world’s fastest growing chronic disease and Queensland is no exception.
The problem is that type 2 diabetes creeps up slowly and many people have no idea they’re on the brink of a serious health issue. Diabetes Queensland needed a smart new tool to reach the vulnerable before their health succumbed.
The Solution: Early diagnosis using mobile Health Data
Diabetes Queensland was already using a simple online questionnaire that calculated an individual’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes within five years. However, online tools are only useful if people search for them on the Web. If you think your health is OK, you’re unlikely to stumble across it.
So, the organisation took a more pro-active approach. Using Tabral technology, they turned the online questionnaire into a mobile app running on Android tablets, and then trained health promotion staff to engage passers-by in the street, in shopping malls, and other public spaces. Eye-catching kiosks were built to house the tablets, with staff on hand to quickly take Queenslanders through the quiz and help them assess their type 2 diabetes risk.
The app was launched in National Diabetes Week in July 2011 where a roving team of Diabetes Queensland staff set up kiosks and capitalised on the public’s curiosity. From downtown Brisbane to remote mining communities in the outback, over 3,500 type 2 diabetes risk assessments have now been carried out with the app.
Many Queenslanders were shocked to find they had all the indicators of an underlying problem that could lead to hospitalisation, limb amputations or worse.
Mobile Health Data is pro-Active and cost-Effective
Creating awareness was only the first stage. The mobile app also included several clever features to ensure knowledge was turned into action.
By entering their email address, users would receive a letter to print out and take to their GP. Their contact details were also added to the Diabetes Queensland database for ongoing follow-up. This included monthly newsletters on healthy lifestyles and type 2 diabetes prevention.
The combination of Android tablets with a tailored app enabled Diabetes Queensland to reach thousands of at-risk Queenslanders.
Innovation made simple with Mobile Health Data
Health Promotion Co-ordinator for Diabetes Queensland, Elizabeth Harburg, has seen first-hand how mobile technology can make a real difference.
“The biggest attraction of the app is it gives us something that attracts people in the street. They see the kiosk, they’re curious about the tablet, and they want to talk to us,” Ms Harburg says.
“The app is convenient to use. It only takes a minute to enter someone’s details, and then we can show them their risk of developing type 2 diabetes on a scale of 1-35.”
There’s also the issue of connecting to people who are off the grid. Queensland has many small and remote communities where health education and diabetes prevention is a constant struggle. Creating a user-friendly app eliminated this barrier.
“With an app running on a tablet, our health education staff can deliver an interactive questionnaire even when they don’t have Wi-Fi or access to the Internet.”
“It means we’re reaching people we’ve never reached before.”
Mobile Health Data Executive Summary
- Diabetes Queensland delivers preventive programmes and ongoing health education across a huge geographical area containing 4.66 million people.
- The organisation commissioned an innovative mobile app, using Tabral technology, to deliver diabetes risk assessment in the field.
- The interactive app running on Android tablets enabled health educators to engage the public in the street, in shopping malls and in isolated communities, and provide timely risk assessment.
- The app also generated letters to GPs on behalf of those identified as needing further investigation.
- Details captured by the app enabled Diabetes Queensland to follow up with targeted newsletters and healthy lifestyle tips.
- Deploying the app during the National Diabetes Week helped deliver a total of over 3,500 type 2 diabetes risk assessments.
- By engaging at-risk people in the community and drawing them into preventive care programmes. Diabetes Queensland is working to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes in the community.