An Analysis of Diabetes Mobile Applications Features Compared to AADE7TM: Addressing Self-Management Behaviors in People with Diabetes

Diabetes Self-management (DSM) applications (apps) have been designed to improve knowledge of diabetes and self-management behaviors. However, few studies have systematically examined if diabetes apps followed the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) Self-Care BehaviorsTM guidelines. The purpose of this study was to compare the features of current DSM apps to the AADE7TM guidelines. In two major app stores, we used three search terms to capture a wide range of diabetes apps. Apps were excluded based on five exclusion criteria. A multidisciplinary team analyzed and classified the features of each app based on the AADE7TM. We conducted interviews with six diabetes physicians and educators for their opinions on the distribution of the features of DSM apps. Out of 1,050 apps retrieved, 173 apps were identified as eligible during November 2015 and 137 apps during December 2017. We found an unbalanced DSM app development trend based on AADE7TM guidelines. Future diabetes apps should attempt to incorporate features under evidence-based guidelines such as AADE7TM to better support the self-management behavior changes of people with diabetes.