Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is among the most common chronic diseases. Often diagnosed in childhood, individuals with T1DM are at risk of related complications later in life; i.e. retinal, renal, neurologic, or cardiovascular disease. Risk mitigation is possible with proper disease management focusing on diet, activity, and insulin therapy to maintain normal blood glucose (BG) levels. Levels are determined with regular BG measurements throughout the day.

Conventional means of collecting and reviewing BG measurements, via a paper logbook, is a burden to the diabetic. bant – a diabetes app for the ePatient provides an edge, mobile diabetes self-management on-the-go. bant collects BG levels as they are measured, richly displays the data in context, and supports trend detection. Measurements can be transferred to personal health records in the cloud and shared with care providers. With this user-friendly approach to mobile diabetes self-management, diabetics can improve glycemic control.

Healthcare Human Factors worked in close collaboration with the bant development team to utilize human factors methods throughout the iterative project design cycle. At the start of the project, ethnographic interviews and cognitive walkthroughs were conducted with teens and their parents to better understand the potential needs and behaviours of target users. At various stages of the development cycle, informal “expert” evaluations were conducted on the proposed design to ensure compliance with established design guidelines. Design issues and violations were addressed with iterative screen re-designs. Several human factors experts also participated in an informal user trial over several weeks to provide detailed feedback on the overall user experience with the application software and hardware.

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bant is being piloted in a study organized in concert with the Hospital for Sick Children. The study rosters twenty 12 to 15 year old T1DM diabetics with hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) in the 8 to 10 range. Participants will use bant for the 3-month interim between regular clinical visits. The study focuses on adherence, frequency of measurements, active self-management, and improvements to HbA1c.