Usage and user experience

Current usage and reach

Across 3 of the 4 NHS trusts in which GDm‑Health is used, the app has been downloaded over 1,400 times.

Table 4 Summary of usage, reach and reported user experience

Evidence of usage and reach

Source

In 1 NHS trust using the app, a total of 411 GDM patients were prescribed the app to monitor blood glucose levels in 2016. This number is expected to rise because at first the app was only available on NHS trust-owned mobile devices, but since June 2016 it has been available to use on patients' own devices.

Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust

96% (48/50) of patients used GDm‑Health until the end of their pregnancy and 85% of patients submitted the minimum requirement of 18 blood glucose readings per week.

Mackillop (2014)

Reported user experience

Source

All members of the multi-disciplinary team are very positive about GDm‑Health. It is easy to use for both patients and healthcare professionals, easy to use as a team review tool, and is both secure and reliable. Most patients are positive towards GDm‑Health. The only patients who cannot use the system are those whose mobile devices are registered outside the UK.

Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust

Of 52 ratings, no patients rated their satisfaction with care negatively and the most agreed or strongly agreed that the system was convenient and reliable. Patients particularly appreciated it if they lived far from the hospital or had other commitments.

Hirst (2015)

Case study: Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust

Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust did an independent review of GDm‑Health, which over 4 months showed a 26% reduction in clinic visits for patients using GDm‑Health compared with patients having standard care. The time spent by diabetes midwives on administrative tasks also decreased by 50%.

All patient data is added to the GDm‑Health database, either remotely or by midwives manually adding blood glucose data. This means that all patient data is stored in 1 place. The database has been developed to meet the specific needs of the unit, so extra information on each patient is added to a spreadsheet for yearly audit purposes. The audit now takes around 1 day instead of 6 weeks, saving a considerable amount of time for the diabetes specialist midwife.

The trust considers GDm‑Health to be a useful teaching tool: new staff can read through records, see the progression of blood glucose levels, see the introduction and effect of various drugs, and develop their dose adjustment skills.

The most obvious benefit overall is the time it takes to review the readings, because the format is consistently very easy to read. Based on current numbers of patients, the trust expects to save around 1 hour per day per clinic through using GDm‑Health.

Overall assessment of user benefits

  • The main patient benefit is reduced clinic visits, with associated reductions in travel costs and inconvenience, and greater control over their own care.

  • Published evidence suggests that people with gestational diabetes find the app easy to use and reliable.

  • Healthcare professionals report that 'prescribing' GDm‑Health to their patients has led to time savings in their antenatal clinics by reducing the number and length of clinic visits, but also by reducing the amount of time taken to carry out audits.

  • GDm‑Health is free to download, so could reach many people who would otherwise rely on paper reporting and regular clinic visits. However, access to mobile devices may limit the range of patients who will benefit from it.