Diabetes care

Diabetes care

Redesigning diabetes care through new technologies

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

This project investigated 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 is of particular relevance for people in regional areas.

The model was co-designed with people living with diabetes, and primary and specialist care teams to incorporate novel digital health 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.


  • 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 (PAH) and via Zoom.
  • The work saw the development of a diabetes care model by people with diabetes and health professionals at a solutions-focused workshop hosted by a Danish expert in participatory design, Dr Jane Clemensen.
  • Results from the workshop showed people with diabetes wanted a personalised care plan focused on personal needs and utilising community resources. An app would allow health professionals to see blood glucose levels and other health information and accommodate an individualised care plan that assists the person with diabetes in achieving their own goals and sharing outcomes with their health professionals.
  • This work enabled the project team to attract further funding through Clinical Excellence Queensland, Queensland Health to test the use of the enabling technology and develop regional workflows at the PAH. A regional workflow model was developed after co-design workshops with the diabetes specialist team. This model involved initial face-to-face consultations and patient review at 12 months. The app was used in between appointments to monitor user progress, allow automated SMS text messages to assist with diabetes self-management and alert health professionals to initiate contact when required. The app modifications were developed with Net-Health and the implementation trial started in 2021.
  • This model of care was offered to 74 people with diabetes from PAH who agreed to be part of the evaluation research project. The team is currently collecting data to complete a six-month evaluation of the implementation trial.
  • With further Queensland Health funding, the project team is also undertaking a needs assessment and co-designed workshops with people with diabetes and clinic staff at the Inala diabetes clinic, a location with multicultural population, to adapt this model into a culturally and linguistically appropriate intervention.
  • Publications:   

- Same goals, different challenges: A systematic review of perspectives of people with diabetes and healthcare professionals on Type 2 diabetes care, Diabetic Medicine (June 2021).

- A qualitative analysis of the needs and wishes of people with type 2 diabetes and healthcare professionals for optimal diabetes care, Diabetic Medicine (May 2022)

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.

  • Professor Anthony Russell, The University of Queensland (Lead)
  • Dr Anish Menon, Endocrinologist, The University of Queensland and Princess Alexandra Hospital
  • Professor Monika Janda, The University of Queensland
  • Dr Dominique Bird, 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 Silva, The University of Queensland


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