Palm-top Dietary Manager for Children With Diabetes

Period of Performance: 09/30/1999 - 03/31/2001

Unknown

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Dbaza, Inc.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Principal Investigator

Abstract

We propose in Phase I to design a prototype for a customized interactive software to help 8-to-10-year-old children with Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) manage their dietary regimens. A palm-size PC will be the platform. The software will be customized to the child's dietary plan (prescribed by the nutritionist), will help to track food intake, assist in a decision making, provide reminders, and will contain positive reinforcers (games). The prototype will e tested for two-week periods by 24 youngsters from a Diabetes Clinic who have had IDDM for various durations, and by Diabetes Educators (not part of the product development team). Feedback from youngsters, parents, and responses to a User Satisfaction questionnaire and Diabetes Educators' evaluations will serve to refine the software. In Phase II, the software will be finalized and a version suitable to adolescents will be developed. IDDM is a prevalent chronic medical disorder of childhood. It entails a complex home-care regimen of which dietary/nutrition management is about the most difficult. The portable tool being proposed, will help families manage better this component of IDDM. This software will be eventually adaptable to adults who have diabetes. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: The "Meals and Things" palm-size, PC based interactive software, which we plan to develop, will be a valuable tool for dietary management, appropriate to the population of school-age diabetic youths and their parents. The product will be attractive to service providers, since computer-aided dietary instruction will make diabetes education more effective with no increase in staff. For patients, a handy tool that also facilitates acquisition of knowledge should have a significant positive impact on managing the dietary component of their chronic medical condition and also improve glycemic control. There is general consensus among diabetes health care professionals that there is a market and a need for this product.