November 29, 2010

Smart phone app helps docs control diabetes

Physicians, nurses and other health care providers can have some of the most up-to-date information on the growing diabetes epidemic at their fingertips, thanks to the release of a new Johns Hopkins guide to the disease now available on all smart phone devices.

The POC-IT Diabetes Guide is a portable, easily searchable and quickly navigated resource written by Johns Hopkins physicians to help providers—particularly during patient visits—make the best clinical decisions, its developers say. The guide provides real-time evidence-based advice on everything from diabetes management to complications to medications.

“It offers almost instant, at-a-glance access to the latest consensus guidelines and expert opinions on a broad spectrum of topics in diabetes care,” said Rita Rastogi Kalyani, an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the guide’s managing editor. “Johns Hopkins’ mission is to share its knowledge with the world, and this is a practical way to do that.”

In the United States, nearly 24 million people have diabetes, and 5.7 million of them don’t even know it, Kalyani said. Long-term complications of the condition can be avoided or managed successfully through proper care.

The Johns Hopkins Point-of-Care Information Technology Center produces electronic clinical decision support resources to help health care professionals raise the standard of care and improve patient safety. The POC-IT Diabetes Guide was developed by Johns Hopkins clinical experts with funding support from the Trinidad and Tobago Health Sciences Initiative, a project under the management of Johns Hopkins Medicine International.

The Diabetes Guide is available on smart phones and the Web. A print version will be released in spring 2011. The electronic guide will be regularly updated with the latest developments in diabetes care. This is the third POC-IT guide developed at Johns Hopkins, with successful guides on antibiotics and HIV already on the market. The Diabetes Guide is being dedicated to Christopher D. Saudek, the guide’s editor in chief and director of the Johns Hopkins Diabetes Center, who died in October.