With NIH Funding, Polaris to Develop New Technology to Help Teens Better Manage Type I Diabetes

E-assessment, e-learning and e-messaging will be at the core of a new system to support teens in self-managing their diabetes.

Langhorne, PA, September 18, 2013 --(PR.com)-- Polaris Health Directions and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing are working together to build an automated system that will help teenagers better cope with their Type I diabetes using a combination of e-technology. It will be the first system of its kind to assess and address the barriers teens face to self-manage their disease.

The project has been funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the research will be conducted in collaboration with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“Handling the daily care of Type I diabetes can be a challenge for even the most diligent teenager,” said Tina Harralson, Ph.D., co-investigator for the project and a senior research scientist at Polaris. “The consequences of mismanagement can be grave, including an increased risk for amputation, kidney failure and heart disease. This system seeks to minimize those risks and improve the quality of life for teens with diabetes.”

The Technology-enabled Type 1 Diabetes Education and Support, or T1DES, system will be designed for adolescents aged 13- to 18-years-old, but could easily be adapted for people with Type 2 diabetes or other chronic diseases.
It will include the following components:

A Web-based assessment to measure the patient’s goals, obstacles to managing care, understanding of the disease and risk for complications;

Real-time patient reports that include educational materials and resources tailored to the patient’s individual needs.

A report for the clinician that highlights any psychosocial issues and other obstacles identified in the assessment, as well as the risk for adverse outcomes.

Automated referrals to mental health providers, social workers and diabetes specialists, as needed.

Text messages and emails to send reminders to patients about appointments and disease-management tasks.

The EHR-compatible system will also include e-learning tools, such as Web-based learning modules and support groups, to provide teens with easy access to the resources they need to better manage their disease.

“With the launch of Phase I to build a prototype of T1DES and to pilot test its effectiveness, we see great potential for significantly improving a teen’s ability to manage his or her disease,” said Dr. Terri H. Lipman, Ph.D., principal investigator and the Miriam Stirl Endowed Term Professor of Nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

For further information from Polaris, please send an e-mail to moreinfo@polarishealth.com.

To speak with Dr. Lipman, please email or call Joy McIntyre, director of communications, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing: (215) 898-5074 and joymc @ nursing.upenn.edu.

About Polaris Health Directions
Polaris recognizes that organizations cannot manage what they do not measure. Many behavioral health care providers and payers may not be collecting and analyzing enough of the right data to answer basic questions about the cost-effectiveness of the care they offer. Polaris's advanced technology and science driven assessment systems are designed to capture the clinical data essential to quality improvement and enhanced organizational management. Polaris solutions provide advanced analytics to help organizations improve and demonstrate to their customers the value of their care. With a focus on prediction, Polaris solutions do more than describe clinical change. Polaris systems also indicate if treatment is likely to have a positive result. Helping organizations make better decisions in the present by anticipating the future will be the difference in reducing their costs while improving patient care. Visit: http://www.polarishealth.com or follow Polaris on Facebook (@polarishealthdirections) and Twitter (@PolarisHD).
Polaris Health Directions
Jesse Nankin