ST. LOUIS, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers have designed smartphones that help elderly people in China who have diabetes manage the disease.
A team of researchers at Saint Louis University and Old Dominion University in Virginia said the interactive gaming system enables patients to learn about their disease and track their blood glucose, weight, diet, exercise, mood and blood pressure -- information that helps doctors provide better care.
"Mobile technologies can empower elderly people to better understand diabetes, track their health indicators more closely and follow a healthier lifestyle," study researcher Maggie Jiao Ma of Saint Louis University said in a statement.
Ma and researcher Cindy LeRouge traveled to China in 2008 to learn how technology could best be used to improve the health of elderly diabetics.
"This project did not start out as a gaming project," LeRouge said. "But we did a lot of groundwork -- from looking at the healthcare infrastructure in China to conducting focus groups with older diabetics and interviewing various providers -- and found that gaming was a persuasive way to engage patients in managing their personal health."
The researchers presented findings on the Chinese Aged Diabetic Assistant at the mHealth Summit, a public-private partnership of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.