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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 8472391, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/8472391
Research Article

Adaptation and Feasibility Study of a Digital Health Program to Prevent Diabetes among Low-Income Patients: Results from a Partnership between a Digital Health Company and an Academic Research Team

1Division of General Internal Medicine, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, P.O. Box 1364, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
2Center for Vulnerable Populations, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, P.O. Box 1364, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
3Omada Health, 500 Sansome St., Suite 200, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA

Received 6 May 2016; Revised 3 August 2016; Accepted 19 September 2016

Academic Editor: Andrea Scaramuzza

Copyright © 2016 Valy Fontil et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. The feasibility of digital health programs to prevent and manage diabetes in low-income patients has not been adequately explored. Methods. Researchers collaborated with a digital health company to adapt a diabetes prevention program for low-income prediabetes patients at a large safety net clinic. We conducted focus groups to assess patient perspectives, revised lessons for improved readability and cultural relevance to low-income and Hispanic patients, conducted a feasibility study of the adapted program in English and Spanish speaking cohorts, and implemented real-time adaptations to the program for commercial use and for a larger trial of in multiple safety net clinics. Results. The majority of focus group participants were receptive to the program. We modified the curriculum to a 5th-grade reading level and adapted content based on patient feedback. In the feasibility study, 54% of eligible contacted patients expressed interest in enrolling (). Although some participants’ computer access and literacy made registration challenging, they were highly satisfied and engaged (80% logged in at least once/week). Conclusions. Underserved prediabetic patients displayed high engagement and satisfaction with a digital diabetes prevention program despite lower digital literacy skills. The collaboration between researchers and a digital health company enabled iterative improvements in technology implementation to address challenges in low-income populations.