If you have type II diabetes or high blood pressure, it’s time to download a new app to help you manage your medications. For Americans living with these two conditions, taking multiple medications and managing information from multiple doctors can become overwhelming. As a result, researchers from Queensland University of Technology, QUT, are developing an augmented reality application that you can use on your mobile device to help you manage medications and medical information.
Type II Diabetes & High Blood Pressure – A Growing Problem
In 2015, the International Diabetes Federation’s Diabetes Atlas estimated that one in 11 adults has diabetes. That’s 415 million people in the world, and one in two, or 46.5% adults with diabetes is still undiagnosed.
According to the American Diabetes Association 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, had diabetes in 2012. New cases are diagnosed every year, about 1.4 million new cases, and trends show the number of Americans developing type II diabetes is still on the rise.
An even greater number of people in the world are living with hypertension or high blood pressure. There are at least 970 million people worldwide who have elevated blood pressure according to the World Heart Federation. Seventy five million of those are American adults. That’s basically a third of the population according to the CDC.
One of the greatest challenges that people living with these chronic illnesses face is managing multiple medications and important information from their multitude of physicians. Therefore, the researchers from QUT in Australia are developing an innovative way to provide immediate assistance for people across the world that just requires the patient to utilize their personal mobile device.
QUT News stated, “Augmented reality will be incorporated into a new customized app for people with high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes to improve their understanding of the multiple medications they must use to manage their condition.” This new application is called Layar!
AR Cuts Down On Information Overload With The Push Of A Button
Dr Alireza Ahmadvand, A QUT research scholar, is part of the multidisciplinary QUT research team that has been investigating how best to use augmented reality, AR, to provide patients information about their medications, help users take them consistently and at the correct times, and to offer professional advice on what to do if a patient should forget to take the medications they needed.
Quite often, patients become overwhelmed with medications and information from multiple doctors. Dr Ahmadvand stated in QUT News, “A person with diabetes sometimes has to take, on average, eight medications at the same time including blood sugar-lowering medications, cholesterol-lowering medications, aspirin, anti-depressants/anxiolytics or medications for weight management.”
He added, “People with type 2 diabetes had to interact with, on average, 14 different healthcare professionals such as diabetes educators, podiatrists, doctors, and specialists.”
This leads to information overload. Patients often forget to take prescriptions at the correct times or they accidentally leave them at home and do not know what to do after they have skipped a dose. Some people may not even be aware of why they take a certain prescription.
Dr. Ahmadvand attests, “The number of medications is partly the reason for high levels of non-compliance, and low health literacy, or knowledge and understanding of their conditions, is another.”
The consequence is that it becomes difficult to properly manage these chronic conditions due to a lack of consistently taking medications and forgetting critical information from medical professionals.
The Solution – Augmented Reality with Layar!
Layar uses AR to provide timely and easy-to-understand information about medications that are specific to the management of type II diabetes and high blood pressure. The best part is that this technology is available using your smartphone.
Dr. Ahmadvand stated, ““We hope this will decrease the complexity and increase compliance with medications for people managing both type 2 diabetes and hypertension by improving understanding of their conditions.”
The app provides instant health literacy. The research team stated, “The app can give the possibility of calling, messaging or direct contact to credible diabetes helplines, if they are in doubt as to what to do if they have forgotten something about their medication or its side effects.”
Knowledge is power. With the correct knowledge of medical information made available through this augmented reality application, patients will have the power to better manage their type II diabetes and high blood pressure and lead an overall improved quality of life.