Preventing Complications in People with Type 2 Diabetes by Using New Technologies to Optimize Self-Management: The My Diabetes Coach Project

The My Diabetes Coach program was developed based on the Telephone-Linked Care (TLC) Diabetes program, which revealed that education and coaching on diabetes self-management delivered through an automated interactive telephone-based platform significantly improved blood glucose control. My Diabetes Coach is an exciting upgrade of the TLC Diabetes program including updated technology and additional support features. A key component of My Diabetes Coach program is a smartphone application, which was designed to deliver personalised support, monitoring and motivational coaching via an interactive embodied conversational agent: ‘Laura’. ‘Laura’ is an embodied character with a human-like range of facial and gesture animations, and mimics human conversation using interactive voice recognition, a database of pre-scripted conversations and sophisticated script logic. The coaching was delivered through weekly ‘appointments’ with ‘Laura’ to emulate weekly access to a health coach. The My Diabetes Coach was implemented and evaluated by a year-long randomized controlled trial involving 187 Australian adults with type 2 diabetes.

Lead Researcher(s) Brian Oldenburg, Enying Gong
FundingThis research was supported by an NHMRC Partnership Grant (ID1057411),
with additional financial and in-kind support provided by Diabetes Australia,
Diabetes Queensland, Diabetes Victoria, Diabetes WA and Roche Diabetes
Care. Development of the My Diabetes Coach app was made possible with
generous financial and other support from Bupa Australia and the Bupa Foundation and collaboration with Clevertar
Project Team membersAssociate Professor Anthony Russell, The University of Queensland,
Professor Mark Harris, The University of New South Wales
Professor Paul Scuffham, Griffith University
Dr Michaela Riddell, Monash University
Professor Robert H. Friedman, Boston University
Professor Jane Speight, Deakin University
Dr Dominique Bird, The Alfred Hospital
Dr Emily Williams, The University of Surrey
Other researchers: Shaira Baptista (PhD candidate at University of Melbourne)
Enying Gong
Enying Gong

Enying Gong is a PhD candidate at the School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne.