Healthcare News & Insights

Online tools for diabetes management not up to par, according to study

If doctors in your organization are using online tools to help treat diabetes patients, they may want to see the results of this study. 

Researchers at the University of Toronto reviewed 92 websites aimed at helping diabetes patients manage their condition, as well as 57 studies about those web-based tools.

The good news: The study found that use of those sites did help patients achieve better outcomes, particularly when the tools were accessed frequently.

The problem, though, is that many of the sites weren’t easy enough to use or didn’t include enough interactive features or personal feedback to have the best results. For example, many of the sites studied were written in a way that could be hard for the average person to understand, particularly people without a whole lot of medical knowledge.

Given the wide range of quality in these tools, doctors need to use care in deciding which to recommend for patients.

What did the researchers see as the criteria for an effective online diabetes management tool? Sites should be interactive without being difficult to use, and include peer or counselor support, options for email or phone contact, and frequent updates, researchers said.

To learn more about the study, download the findings here.

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