June 18, 2021

Thrivable and DiabetesMine Release New Research on Health Technology Trends

The study, sponsored by One Drop, explores how telehealth is transforming the patient experience for Americans living with diabetes.

Cleveland, OH — Thrivable and DiabetesMineTM released key findings from a recent survey of nearly 2,400 people living with diabetes in the United States at the D-Data ExChange 2021 interactive virtual event. Sponsored by One Drop, Data-Driven Self-Care: How Telehealth Is Transforming the Patient Experience explores the current state of healthcare app use for diabetes management, including attitudes towards healthcare technology, utilization trends, value derived by patients, and gaps in existing technology.

“The good news is that survey participants overwhelmingly agree that technology is having a positive impact on their ability to manage their diabetes,” notes Thrivable CEO David Edelman. “However, the findings also reveal that further education regarding the tools available to patients to help with both diabetes management and overall health is needed to increase their adoption of health apps.” 

Among the report’s key findings:

  • Participants indicated a high level of health literacy, with 86% saying they were extremely or very confident in their ability to obtain, read, understand, and use health care information in order to make appropriate health decisions and follow instructions for treatment

  • 88% of respondents believe that technology* has a positive impact on their diabetes management, while one in four specifically cites technology as making diabetes management easier

  • Among those not currently using health apps, one in five identified a lack of knowledge regarding which tools can help with diabetes management and overall health as a barrier

  • 83% reported using a health app on their smartphone or computer on a somewhat regular basis

  • The pandemic caused a spike in health technology utilization, including a 60% increase in the use of digital health technology in the last year, as well as three in four participants noting that they had a virtual visit with their healthcare provider

*Technology is defined as telemedicine, apps, CGMs, BGMs, and other connected devices. 

The research also revealed the need to increase adoption among older patients living with diabetes and those with lower annual household incomes as more frequent use of health apps was associated with younger, more affluent patients. 

“Healthcare providers can aid tremendously in reversing this unfortunate trend,” observes Thrivable Research Lead Maria Muccioli, PhD. “The research revealed a bias among HCPs, who are more likely to recommend health apps to younger patients. Being aware of and correcting for this bias can help increase health technology adoption and ensure better outcomes for all diabetes patients.”

Finally, it’s important to note that while patients with diabetes wish for secure, affordable health technology solutions that are fully integrated and easy to use, they also believe in the value of human interaction with a healthcare provider and the importance of emotional support in managing their diabetes. Almost 85% of respondents agree that emotional support is a significant factor in optimizing their diabetes management.  

About the Research
To better understand how health care technology and telehealth are shaping the patient experience, Thrivable gathered insights from 2,393 people with diabetes living in the United States between April 6 and May 4, 2021, using an internet-based survey. Respondents were roughly split between type 1 diabetes (49%) and type 2 diabetes (51%) patients. The gender breakdown among respondents is 71% women versus 29% men. All 50 states are represented in the survey results, with no appreciable differences by region. 

About Thrivable 
Thrivable connects patients and companies to create better products and services for the next generation of health care. Our real-time market research platform makes it easy for patients to be their own advocates by sharing their insights, stories, and perspectives via surveys, interviews, focus groups, and usability studies. Healthcare companies turn to Thrivable to ensure the voice of the customer drives important business decisions every day.   

About DiabetesMine
Founded by Amy Tenderich in 2005, Diabetes Mine is a leading consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community that joined Healthline Media in 2015. The DiabetesMine team is made up of informed patient advocates who are also trained journalists. The publication offers a unique mix of the latest diabetes news, views, and reviews, providing content that informs and inspires people affected by diabetes. DiabetesMine also acts as a strong voice of patient advocacy, working to foster innovation in diabetes care.

About One Drop
One Drop reimagines possible by harnessing the power of clinical science, behavioral science and advanced AI to transform the lives of people with chronic conditions worldwide. Evidence-based and clinically effective, One Drop’s digital health platform delivers one-on-one coaching and personalized health transformation plans that promote positive behavior change and drive outcomes for all individuals, while reducing costs for their insurers, employers, and healthcare providers. 

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