Development of MyFootCare: A smartphone application to actively engage people in their diabetic foot ulcer self-care

Terrific work from our SALSAmigos Jaap van Netten, Pete Lazzarini and coworkers.

Background: New strategies are needed to engage people in the self-care of their diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). We aimed to develop and evaluate the usability and usefulness of a new smartphone application to engage people with DFUs in self-care. Methods: We developed “MyFootCare”, a smartphone application to engage patients through goal-setting, progress monitoring, and reminders (Fig.1). Key feature was the novel visual analytics to extract and monitor DFU size from mobile phone photos (Fig.2). A functional prototype was evaluated through a user-centred design process with 11 participants with DFUs, via semi-structured interviews discussing existing self-care practices and observations of MyFootCare. Data were analysed qualitatively through thematic analysis.Results: Key themes were: (1) Participants already used mobile phone photos to monitor their DFU progress, but (2) had limited experience with smartphone applications. (3) Participants desired the objective DFU size data provided. (4) Participants were ambivalent about the goal setting and diary features. (5) Participants desired to share their MyFootCare data with clinicians to demonstrate engagement in self-care and reflect on their progress.Discussion/Conclusion: MyFootCare shows promising features to engage people in DFU self-care. Most notably, ulcer size data is useful to monitor progress and engage people. More work is needed to improve the usability and accuracy of MyFootCare, by refining the process of taking and analysing DFU photos and removing unnecessary features. These findings open the door for further work to develop an application that is easy to use and functions in daily life.

van Netten, Jaap J., Brown, Ross A., Si da Seng, Leonard, Lazzarini, Peter
A., & Ploderer, Bernd
Development of MyFootCare: A smartphone application to actively engage
people in their diabetic foot ulcer self-care.


(JMIR Diabetes 2018;3(4):e10105) doi:10.2196/10105

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