Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Medical Informatics (MS)

Administrative Home Department

School of Technology

Advisor 1

Guy C. Hembroff

Committee Member 1

Yu Cai

Committee Member 2

Cameron Williams

Abstract

In 2014, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States [1]. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one third of all adults in the United State are pre-diabetic. Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose (sugar) is higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diabetic. Persons who have an increased risk of developing pre-diabetes are: those who are not physically active, have a family history of diabetes, are within a minority group, are overweight/obese, and other factors. From 1999 to 2008, the occurrence of adolescents ages 12 to 19 with pre-diabetes or diabetes increased from 9% to 23% [5]. The purpose of this study is to determine whether deploying a gamified mobile application will help reduce adolescent’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, as well as increase the quality of user care.

Technology can greatly enhance a user’s ability to self-manage and lower their risk for pre-diabetes. Considering the varied uses of smartphones, it is not unusual for an application to be used to help pre-diabetics manage their health. Smartphone applications are currently being used to manage fitness, diet, glucose levels, water intake, blood pressure, heart rate, and weight. In a 2015 study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 88% of all American adolescent’s ages 13 to 17 have or have access to a mobile phone, with 73% owning a smartphone. This study also shows that 72% of all adolescents play video games and that 81% have or have access to a gaming console [11]. This data shows the potential for mobile gamified applications in pre-diabetic user care.

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