Is a cloud-based platform useful for diabetes management in Colombia? The Tidepool experience

Comput Methods Programs Biomed. 2021 May 27;208:106205. doi: 10.1016/j.cmpb.2021.106205. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: There are several medical devices used in Colombia for diabetes management, most of which have an associated telemedicine platform to access the data. In this work, we present the results of a pilot study evaluating the use of the Tidepool telemedicine platform for providing remote diabetes health services in Colombia across multiple devices.

METHOD: Individuals with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes using multiple diabetes devices were recruited to evaluate the user experience with Tidepool over three months. Two endocrinologists used the Tidepool software to maintain a weekly communication with participants reviewing the devices data remotely. Demographic, clinical, psychological and usability data were collected at several stages of the study.

RESULTS: Six participants, from ten at the baseline (five MDI and five CSII), completed this pilot study. Three different diabetes devices were employed by the participants: a glucose meter (Abbot), an intermittently-scanned glucose monitor (Abbot), and an insulin pump (Medtronic). A score of 81.3 in the system usability scale revealed that overall, most participants found the system easy to use, especially the web interface. The system also compared highly favourably against the proprietary platforms. The ability to upload and share data and communicate remotely with the clinicians was raised consistently by participants. Clinicians cited the lockdown imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic as a valuable test for this platform. Inability to upload data from mobile devices was identified as one of the main limitations.

CONCLUSION: Tidepool has the potential to be used as a tool to facilitate remote diabetes care in Colombia. Users, both participants and clinicians, agreed to recommend the use of platforms like Tidepool to achieve better disease management and communication with the health care team. Some improvements were identified to enhance the user experience.

PMID:34118493 | DOI:10.1016/j.cmpb.2021.106205