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Researchers Design Smartphone Games for Elderly Diabetics


Saint Louis University Professor Maggie Jiao Ma

"Mobile technologies can empower elderly people to . . . track their health indicators more closely, and follow a healthier lifestyle," says Saint Louis University Professor Maggie Jiao Ma.

Credit: Saint Louis University

Researchers at Saint Louis University (SLU) and Old Dominion University have developed the Chinese Aged Diabetic Assistant (CADA), new smartphone technology that uses interactive games and other techniques to help elderly people with diabetes manage their disease. The interactive diabetes self-management system can be used to help people track their blood glucose level, weight, diet, exercise, mood, and blood pressure.

"We know that patients with chronic illnesses who are actively involved in their health care have better outcomes, yet this can be a challenging task," says SLU professor Maggie Jiao Ma. "Mobile technologies can empower elderly people to better understand diabetes, track their health indicators more closely, and follow a healthier lifestyle."

The researchers found that gaming was an effective way to engage patients in managing their personal health, so they created a variety of games, such as a food pyramid game that encourages people to eat a balanced diet, limit high-sugar foods, and watch their salt and fat intake.

The researchers also created a trivia and a tile-matching game to provide educational information on the disease. The researchers say there are many possibilities for using smartphone technology in health care. "Imagine walking into a McDonalds and having your cell phone recognize your location and make healthy menu recommendations--all this and more is possible with smartphone technology," says SLU professor Mark Gaynor.

From Saint Louis University
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Abstracts Copyright © 2009 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

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