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The Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing has received a grant to develop a diabetes mobile health app in collaboration with an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the university, including experts from the schools of nursing and business. The US India Education Foundation (USIEF) awarded the grant to create the app which is expected to boost awareness and educate those in India who are most at risk for diabetes.

The team will be led by Shelby Garner, PhD, RN, an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, who has worked in India over the past six years to develop technological health resources. This became an important issue for her after seeing World Health Organization statistics showing that life expectancy in India is among the lowest in the South East Asian Region and is largely attributed to growing rates of non-communicable diseases like diabetes.

Garner tells Baylor.edu, “There is a need for culturally appropriate health education materials in India. Our early research showed that technology, such as smartphones and internet accessibility, are widely available in India among health providers, but most technological educational resources were developed in the West and do not effectively translate to the Indian context.”

The app will feature an interactive 3D animated video with gaming features to help educate patients at risk for diabetes. The app will also answer questions such as: What is diabetes? What happens if I have diabetes? How do I prevent and treat diabetes?

Physicians from Bangalore Baptist Hospital will provide cultural context and help identify important medical content to be included in the app. The app will serve as a data collection tool to help researchers determine if the video is improving participants’ knowledge on diabetes. Community health workers employed by Bangalore Baptist Hospital will use the app as they visit with people in rural villages and urban slums during door-to-door health education visits. The research team will then compare the app’s effectiveness with standard health educational resources previously used.

The grant will fund exchange teams of researchers and faculty from India to come to the US and for Baylor team members to go to India to collaborate on the research over the next two years. To learn more about Baylor Nursing’s grant to develop a diabetes app for use in India, visit here.

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