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Dr. Bill's Commentaries

Trusting the Internet to Manage Diabetes

Yet another misleading diabetes news story on the Internet... but this one is worth a few moments of reflection. Seems some researchers in Canada surveyed 44 folks with T2D who were recruited from diabetes education classes, and found that most of them didn't use the Internet for self-management (A Pilot Study Examining Patient Attitudes and Intentions to Adopt Assistive Technologies Into Type 2 Diabetes Self-Management). No big surprise, to my way of thinking.

But the misleading story was in the Toronto Sun newspaper, who mangled the implications of the story by implying in the newspaper's title (Technophobia hindering seniors from managing diabetes: Study) that it is seniors who are hindered by technophobia. The lead sentence repeats the assertion: "Fear of technology is keeping Canadian seniors from using mobile apps to help manage their Type 2 diabetes, a new study says." One of the co-authors is quoted in the Sun as saying, "It may be that older adults are unaware of apps available, they had low confidence about using them regularly, or both." Yup. That's right.

But the story clearly said non-use of the 'net and apps for diabetes management was a problem across all ages: "The majority of participants did not currently use an Internet (92.5%) or mobile (96%) application for self-management." and "However, ... few currently make use of such technologies in any age group." So it isn't just old geezers who don't trust the Internet or apps to run our diabetes for us. Even if we are tech-savvy.

I'd like to survey the readers of this essay: please add your comment here

(A) Are you younger or a senior?

(B) Do you trust the Internet or apps to manage your diabetes?

[BTW, my answers are (A) Senior, and (B) No.]

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Dr. Bill Quick began writing at HealthCentral's diabetes website in November, 2006. These essays are reproduced at D-is-for-Diabetes with the permission of HealthCentral.

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This page was new at D-is-for-Diabetes August 9, 2016

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