Smartphone apps to help Queensland mothers from gestational diabetes

May 11, 2018  Source: Ddu 371

Diabetes Australia's (the third oldest diabetes association in the world) latest figures show that over 200,000 women have suffered gestational diabetes during the last 10 years and is expected to exceed 500,000 within the next decade. Gestational diabetes can be fatal if untreated and could likely lead to overweight babies,  premature births, as well as PreEclampsia.

Caroline Savage, 32, was 28 weeks pregnant when she was diagnosed. She said it was quite challenging because she felt so good just before being diagnosed. She had a busy pregnancy, working until five days before she gave birth. She added "Being able to have my phone and do my glucose test and put it straight in really helped. My diabetes educator could jump on there at any time to check my levels and make sure everything is fine. She gave birth to her healthy baby boy in April. “We have other apps we use throughout the pregnancy about how big the baby is and other milestones, so this was just an addition to that, it didn't add any extra impost,"

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization an independent Australian federal government agency responsible for e-Health scientific research has partnered with Redlands Hospital on Brisbane's bayside to make it simple for women to manage the condition. David Hansen, the center’s CEO, said “pregnant women could enter data like blood sugar readings, into the smart phone app which then send information directly to their health caretaker. This app also captures exercise information, which is important in taking care of gestational diabetes. But we can also capture other risk factors by the patient entering the information as they measure it. When it's written in a book [which most women still use] it's still only available to the pregnant woman themselves and the clinician they visit. The app makes the data available to the care team as it is entered".

Hansen also added “40 women participated, for between 10 and 16 weeks, with great results. Primarily what we're trying to do is help people stick to the guidelines that the clinicians want them to, to have a happy healthy baby. Gestational diabetes increases the risk of the mother and baby developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Type 2 diabetes and the increase in the prevalence of that is certainly having a big impact on our health system. Anything we can do to reduce the likelihood of that is really important. The mobile health trial is the sixth rolled out by the Australian e-Health Research Centre. Mobile phones are becoming an important part of health management”.

By editor