Imagine the current situation when it comes to prescribing newer anti-diabetic medications (non-insulin). Here's a typical scenario: A patient with diabetes is currently visiting their primary care provider for a routine check up, and asks about a new medication that they've recently read about in the news. The primary care provider, who often has limited time to address multiple health issues, simply refers the patient to a specialist or prescribes a traditional option (like, Metformin), while there might better options available to supplement/replace. This jeopardizes patient-provider relationship, and delays effective treatment. Additionally, for such situations, providers are inclined to refer because of their lack of time to keep up with newer anti-diabetic medications (30+ options, and growing).

Now, what if an app were able to guide the provider through some questions that a specialist might ask to reach the same end goal - a recommended list of anti-diabetic medications?

What it does

Introducing Diabetiq.

With Diabetiq, the provider simply answers a few questions that relate to the patient's conditions as well as the desired benefits (weight loss, dietary allergies) to give a pro-con analysis on relevant medication categories.

Diabetiq doesn't recommend the actual drug of choice, but rather helps guide the provider with the best options that help control the patient's blood sugar while attending to their personalized needs. With the guidance of a practicing endocrinologist (Dr. Janya Swami @ UPMC), our app's 'algorithm' successfully navigates a repetitively tedious decision tree via a series of simple questions to reach our end goal - recommended medications.

The design of the Diabetiq app (Q&A flow and guided experience) fosters shared decision-making between the patient and the provider - enhancing the patient's involvement in their own health.

Please note: this app does not replace the clinical judgment of a trained medical professional. The sole purpose of this app is provide a better way of navigating the multitude of options available for anti-diabetic medications.

How we built it and our primary challenge

We've built this app by implementing a decision tree that can be transformed for other use cases where simple Q&A can assist and automate complex decision-making. We've also been very critical in designing the app to have a recommendation 'mindset' rather than automating decision-making - this insulates us from legalities as well as helps support the medical provider.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Really simplified a very common challenge faced by physicians
  • Centralized access to how updated and new medications can be better tailored to patients with different clinical needs/conditions.

What's next for Diabetiq

We're piloting this app with a handful of primary care physicians as well as with diabetes speciailists. We are excited to already start work on 3 major initiatives while continually promoting the viability of our solution:

  • Working with drChrono API to automatically access patient records around allergies and health preferences, so participating providers can quickly personalize and get recommended options.
  • Publishing to Alexa and Google Home digital assistants: so doctors and specialists can let Alexa / Google Home provide a hands-free experience, during the patient's visit.
  • Authoring personalized diabetes health tips for patients so they can better manage, educate and follow good practices between visits with their specialists / physicians.
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