We Help Patients with Diabetes Improve Self-Management Behaviour Through Voice Reminder
Although Cambodia has the lowest prevalence of diabetes in the region, some 8 000 people die due to the disease in Cambodia every year. There were an estimated 212 000 diabetes sufferers in Cambodia in 2012, with almost another 134 000 estimated to be undiagnosed, according to the International Diabetes Federation.
The MoPoTsyo Patient Information Centre, a Phnom Penh-based NGO that focuses on the disease, registered more than 8 000 patients by the end of 2011. The number had increased to 12 500 by the end of 2012, according to the organization’s annual report.
Maurits van Pelt, director of MoPoTsyo, told local newspaper The Cambodia Daily that “I am sure the number will go up in Cambodia and I think it already went up since the last survey”. The news article, published in November 2013, also warned that “the chronic disease, which affects 3 percent of Cambodians is increasing due to changing diets”.
To help patients better manage their disease, MoPoTsyo needs to send them timely reminders to keep check-up appointments, take medication, make healthy food choices, and exercise regularly.
“If you have diabetes and you have a very good lifestyle, your blood sugar goes down and the problem is not as severe anymore. We have taken random tests and found that if you have a very good lifestyle your blood sugar can be as low as when you take medication”.
In early 2014, MoPoTsyo’s pilot project aimed to examine if the use of mobile phone communication between people with diabetes and their health care givers would improve existing diabetes self-management. In this project, mobile phones would be given to people to enable them to call for support.
They would receive messages and calls about behaviour changes and results, and reminders about appointments and the taking of medication.
In late 2013, the Patient Information Center started working with InSTEDD iLab Southeast Asia to launch the mobile technology intervention project which would make it possible for them to design voice messages to target a selected group of 250 patients.
Excerpt from: Spider Stories 2013–2014: MoPoTsyo uses Verboice to help diabetes patients. You can also download the full report here (PDF).