Sparrow, MSU develop self-testing diabetes app for teens

Sparrow Caregivers have joined a Michigan State University assistant professor and other researchers in working to develop a smartphone app that enables teens with type-1 diabetes to manage their diabetes with greater ease and independence.

As teens transition to self-care, use of the app will enable them to test and track their blood glucose levels without constant reminders from their parents. After the app is developed, focus groups of teens and parents will test it for ease of use and messaging components. The project has received funding from the American Diabetes Association.

"Use of the app is a tech-savvy way for teens to receive reminders to test and document their glucose levels, meals and insulin doses," said Julie Dunneback, MSN, APRN, BC, CPNP, CDE, a Nurse Practitioner in Sparrow’s Pediatric Endocrinology Clinic.

In addition, the app will offer cues for possible follow-up based on current clinical care guidelines.

“I have witnessed the emotional stress that occurs in families with children who have Type 1 Diabetes, which becomes especially challenging as teens progress to more independent care. The research outcomes can make a huge difference in the lives of teens with diabetes and their families.”

Sparrow is dedicated to improving the delivery of health care for our Patients by participating in innovative, high quality, clinical research to aid and support the development of the body of knowledge in medicine. An important key to helping Sparrow fulfill its mission and vision is through research.

“This grant will help my research team to succeed in our mission to ease the daily life of adolescents with type 1 diabetes. We are so grateful that the American Diabetes Association is offering their support to the project," said Bree Holtz, Ph.D., the MSU assistant professor leading the project.

The team of specialists working with Holtz includes Shelia Cotten, Ph.D., Denise Hershey, Ph.D., RN, FNP-BC, Amanda Holmstrom, Ph.D., Amol Pavangadkar, M.B.A., M.A. and Katharine Murray, M.A. from MSU. Dunneback and Arpita Vyas, M.D., from Sparrow. Michael Wood, M.D., from the University of Michigan Medical School, and Joshua Richman, M.D., Ph.D. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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