Diabetes Self-Management Applications: Focus Group Findings from Elderly Diabetic Patients

The number of mobile diabetes self-management (DSM) apps has risen. However, it is not certain whether these apps provide effective DSM for elderly diabetic patients. The purpose of this study was to identify barriers in functionality and usability related to needs of elderly diabetic patients for DSM apps. We conducted two focus groups with 10 older diabetic patients. Participants completed a set of DSM tasks using nine representative DSM apps on iPads. They answered a questionnaire which included basic information, System Usability Scale (SUS), app specific questions, and open-ended questions. We found DSM apps did not adhere to diabetes guidelines. Usability was their primary concern about DSM apps. However, average SUS score measured usability was considered not acceptable. This study suggests current DSM apps do not provide evidence-based and usable features for DSM. New DSM app following user-centered design process and evidence–based guidelines are needed for growing diabetic population.