Vol 9, No 6 (2020)
Research paper
Published online: 2020-11-18

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Pains and needs of patients with type 2 diabetes as targets for novel technologies

Aneta Gruchała1, Katarzyna Cypryk2, Freimut Schliess3, Katarzyna Bobeff4, Tim Heise3, Mikołaj Gurdała5, Agnieszka Szadkowska1, Beata Mianowska1
Clin Diabetol 2020;9(6):400-410.


Background. As diabetes affects multiple spheres of life the aim of this study was to explore the pain points of diabetes management as perceived by persons with type 2 diabetes and to identify their expectations towards new technologies.
Methods. Patients with type 2 diabetes treated with oral hypoglycemic agents and/or insulin were surveyed. Respondents were asked to rate (i) the impact of diabetes on their daily life and (ii) their needs for improvements in different aspects of diabetes management on a five level Likert-type scale.
Results. One hundred and fifty-four persons with type 2 diabetes were included. Most frequently reported challenges were: fear of diabetes complications development or progression (98.7% of patients), presence of diabetes complications (65.6%), frequent hyperglycemia (53.2%), and diabetes limiting one’s daily activities (50%). Most frequently expressed needs were: to evaluate glucose concentrations without finger pricking (98.1%), contact with a physician using mobile solutions and/or telemedicine (98.1%), and automation of insulin dosing (91.6%) and of calories/carbohydrates’ evaluation in meals (84.4%). Needs for telemedicine development, automation of insulin dosing and that the others help patients with diabetes management were more frequently reported by persons with: higher HbA1c, positive severe hypoglycemia history, concomitant chronic complications or diseases, and by those who were on insulin therapy.
Conclusions. Although many diabetes technologies which meet the needs of patients with type 2 diabetes are already available, the study uncovers a high requirement for integrating them into disease management. The challenge pertains to implementation of the right technological solutions fulfilling needs of particular groups of patients and to helping them to embrace novelties into their daily lives.

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