Diabetes care

Redesigning diabetes care through new technologies

Diabetes is one of the biggest challenges confronting Australians and our health system, with approximately 1.7 million* Australians living with diabetes.

This project will investigate the development of a user-centred, technology-enabled model for diabetes care. Through this model, people living with diabetes are linked with appropriate GPs and specialist teams. This will also be of particular relevance for people in regional areas.

The model will be co-designed with people living with diabetes, and primary and specialist care will incorporate novel telehealth innovations to improve health outcomes.

This project is another example of Health Translation Queensland supporting projects that explore innovative ways to improve patient care outcomes.

Outcomes

  • This project enabled engagement with 19 adults with Type 2 diabetes and 27 health professionals from primary care, specialist fields and pharmacy, via interviews, focus groups and participatory design workshops. Workshops were conducted at Princess Alexandra Hospital and via Zoom.

  • The work saw the development of a diabetes care model by patients and health professionals at a solutions-focused workshop hosted by a Danish expert in participatory design, Dr Jane Clemensen.

  • Results from the workshop showed patients wanted a personalised care plan focused on personal need and utilising community resources. An app would allow health professionals to see blood sugar levels and accommodate an individualised care plan that assists the patient in achieving their own goals and sharing outcomes with their health professionals.

  • A regional workflow model was developed after the workshop with the diabetes specialist team at Princess Alexandra Hospital. This model would involve initial face-to-face consultations and patient review at 12 months. The app would be used in between appointments to monitor patient progress, allow automated SMS text messages to assist with patient self-management and alert health professionals to initiate contact when required.  

  • Development of the app is currently underway with NetHealth.

  • This work enabled the project team to attract further funding through Queensland Health and Centre of Excellence to test the use of the enabling technology and develop regional workflows at three sites (Princess Alexandra Hospital, Toowoomba Base Hospital and Longreach Hospital).

  • Economic modelling is currently underway.  

Project investigators

Project leaders engage with and draw up on the expertise of partners within universities, research institutes, and hospital and health services around Queensland.

  • Associate Professor Anthony Russell, The University of Queensland (Lead), Endocrinologist, Princess Alexandra Hospital

  • Dr Anish Menon, Endocrinologist, The University of Queensland and Princess Alexandra Hospital

  • Professor Monica Janda, The University of Queensland

  • Associate Professor Tracy Comans, The University of Queensland

  • Professor Len Gray, The University of Queensland

  • Dr Mohan Karunanithi, CSIRO

  • Research assistant, Carina Vasconcelos, The University of Queensland

*https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/about-diabetes/

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