Ron's story

Ron la Faille
“Thanks to the Diameter app, the amount of insulin I use to balance my sugar levels went down by 20 %”
Ron la Faille

In the Netherlands alone, there are 1.1 million people with Diabetes type 2. Ron la Faille (52) is one of them. He discovered his illness seven years ago after his wife sent him to the doctor because of some changes in his behaviour. Since that day, he has experienced one period during which his blood sugar level showed a positive deviation – it was during his participation in the Diameter pilot. Ron shares his experience with this app-under-construction for diabetes patients.

Diabetes is a terrible disease

"My problem is and always will be high blood sugar levels. Honestly, diabetes is a terrible disease. Knowing that I will never get rid of it and will always have to live a very consistent, controlled life is hard. And then there’s the uncertainty of what it may cause in the long run. Fortunately, things went really well for a while when I was using the Diameter.' 

‘The Diameter app is a movement tracker, food diary and health coach in one for diabetes type 2 patients. UT and ZGT Hospital Group Twente are researching this innovative tool. And I was one of the first patients who got to try the Diameter. The app kept track of my daily movements, my blood sugar values and everything I ate. The awareness of those factors, and the stimulation to get more exercise, really benefitted me. During that period, the amount of insulin I used to balance my sugar levels went down by 20 %."

Using the Diameter was the extra motivation I needed

"I am on the road a lot, so I live an irregular life. Besides that, I don't exercise enough and I struggle with discipline. I am aware of all that, but it is difficult to find the right balance. On the one hand, I want to enjoy life without being too worried about the future. On the other, every time I see the doctor, I am reminded of the long-term consequences of this disease, and it bugs me that once again I have been paying too little attention to my health.’ 

"For me, the Diameter app was exactly the motivation I needed to start changing. I was really excited about the daily 10,000 steps and even made extra evening walks just for the kick of reaching that goal. Conversely, I really hated days when I didn't reach the target number of steps. I’m sure the fact that I knew people were watching my data played a crucial role in my motivation. But better blood sugar levels were the best reward."

An app with many possibilities

"I enjoyed being able to contribute to this research with my data, also because I always see more possibilities for this kind of innovation. Currently, I have check-ups every three months, but the check-ups are obviously just snapshots of my values at that particular moment. With a tool like the Diameter, you could develop a system that will warn care professionals whenever a patient has an increased sugar level. It could help to relieve the overburdened care system as well, I guess.’ 

‘As for personalisation opportunities, this app could probably predict outcomes in the future. For example, it would be very helpful if it could calculate the amount of insulin I have to use on the basis of how much I eat. Or even better, if it could tell me how much to inject beforehand if I am expecting to have a big diner later that day. I can’t wait to use the Diameter again, in a second trial run, or when it’s on the market!"

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