Psychology, technology, and diabetes management

October 19, 2017 by School of Medicine Webmaster

Use of technology in diabetes management is rapidly advancing and has the potential to help individuals with diabetes achieve optimal glycemic control. Over the past 40 years, several devices have been developed and refined, including the blood glucose meter, insulin pump, and continuous glucose monitor. When used in tandem, the insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor have prompted the Artificial Pancreas initiative, aimed at developing control system for fully automating glucose monitoring and insulin delivery. In addition to devices, modern technology, such as the Internet and mobile phone applications, have been used to promote patient education, support, and intervention to address the behavioral and emotional challenges of diabetes management. These state-of-the-art technologies not only have the potential to improve clinical outcomes, but there are possible psychological benefits, such as improved quality of life, as well. However, practical and psychosocial limitations related to advanced technology exist and, in the context of several technology-related theoretical frameworks, can influence patient adoption and continued use. It is essential for future diabetes technology research to address these barriers given that the clinical benefits appear to largely depend on patient engagement and consistence of technology use.