Creating and sharing knowledge for telecommunications

Development and Evaluation of a Web-based Tool to Estimate Type 2 Diabetes Risk: Diab_Alert

Barreda-Pérez, M. B. ; de la Torre, I. T. ; López-Coronado, M. L. ; Rodrigues, J. R. ; García, T. G.

Telemedicine and e-Health Vol. 19, Nº 2, pp. 81 - 87, February, 2013.

ISSN (print): 1530-5627
ISSN (online): 1556-3669

Journal Impact Factor: 1,416 (in 2011)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1089/tmj.2012.0110

Abstract
Objective: Diabetes and its complications are major causes of mor- bidity and mortality around the world. This article presents a new multilingual, mobile-compatible Web-based tool to estimate the risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes (Diab_Alert) after the individual answers a brief questionnaire. The rationale for building the tool is to raise the public awareness of diabetes and its consequences. People should be concerned about the fact that this disease can be prevented even in cases of prediabetes, when medication is crucial to avoid the emergence of diabetes. The application shows a message with the global risk for each user and encloses with it a graph that shows the probability of suffering from diabetes in the next 10 years, which other tools do not illustrate. This way, people at high risk can ask for advice from their physician and get basal glucose tests done more often. Subjects and Methods: The questions are based on research performed by experts, mainly the Diabetes Population Risk Tool and the Finnish Diabetes Risk Score. Results: Up to April 26, 2012, 141 users have completed this test. Of this group, 125 have used the Spanish language version, and of the other participants, 7 used English, 7 used Portuguese, and 2 used French. The number of indi- viduals who have completed the questionnaire is too small to draw conclusions, although results are not as advanced as expected. Most of them are young and hence are at low risk, but those over 45 years of age are at a higher risk, especially men. Conclusions: This tool can help users become more aware of their risk of diabetes and initiate lifestyle changes, such as improved nutrition or increased physical activity, which may reduce their risk of developing the disease. The tool has been designed to be easily translated into multiple languages and to work on multiple platforms, with a standard version for computers and a simpler version for mobile devices.