Eliciting Requirements for a Diabetes Self-Management Application for Underserved Populations: A Multi-Stakeholder Analysis

Samuel Bonet Olivencia, Arjun H. Rao, Alec Smith, Farzan Sasangohar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Medically underserved communities have limited access to effective disease management resources in the U.S. Mobile health applications (mHealth apps) offer patients a cost-effective way to monitor and self-manage their condition and to communicate with providers; however, current diabetes self-management apps have rarely included end-users from underserved communities in the design process. This research documents key stakeholder-driven design requirements for a diabetes self-management app for medically underserved patients. Semi-structured survey interviews were carried out on 97 patients with diabetes and 11 healthcare providers from medically underserved counties in South Texas, to elicit perspectives and preferences regarding a diabetes self-management app, and their beliefs regarding such an app's usage and utility. Patients emphasized the need for accessible educational content and for quick access to guidance on regulating blood sugar, diet, and exercise and physical activity using multimedia rather than textual forms. Healthcare providers indicated that glucose monitoring, educational content, and the graphical visualization of diabetes data were among the top-rated app features. These findings suggest that specific design requirements for the underserved can improve the adoption, usability, and sustainability of such interventions. Designers should consider health literacy and numeracy, linguistic barriers, data visualization, data entry complexity, and information exchange capabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 23 2021


  • blood glucose self-monitoring
  • diabetes mellitus
  • disease management
  • health literacy
  • medically underserved area
  • mobile applications
  • self-management
  • telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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