Type 1 diabetes, or juvenile diabetes affects over one million people in the U.S. alone. As an autoimmune condition, type 1 diabetes prevents the body from creating insulin, which helps with managing blood sugar levels. It affects both adults and children, and onset of type 1 diabetes can happen at just about any age. If left untreated, type 1 diabetes causes a build up of glucose in the body which can lead to a range of complications. These complications include damage to blood vessels, nerve damage, and even problems with the feet and eyes
As a serious condition, managing type 1 diabetes requires a lot of efforts and self-care. From insulin shots to regularly measuring blood sugar levels to watching dietary intake, the effort of managing type 1 diabetes can take a toll on people, both physically and mentally. Some tools, like continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps have been developed to help take away some of the manual work of managing diabetes.
Still, managing diabetes remains a difficult task, especially when it comes to people’s mental wellbeing. People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to experience depression compared to people without diabetes, highlighting a need for programs and tools to help make mental wellbeing a priority.
An international team of researchers from the Netherlands, Germany, UK, and Spain, recently developed a smartphone application, called MyDiaMate, that could help improve the overall mental health and wellbeing of people with type 1 diabetes.
Now that the app has been developed, researchers are making plans to accomplish two additional goals with the app over the next four years. First, researchers want to test how effective MyDiaMate is improving overall user mental wellbeing, offering clinical validity to their app. To support this work, researchers have secured a grant of roughly one million Euros from JDRF.
Researchers also hope to get a better understanding of the types of type 1 diabetes patients who would most likely benefit from using the app.
Sources: Eurekalert!; JDRF; ADA