The DiaBook devised by UT student (Creative Technology) Floor Lieverse is an interactive audiobook to support healthy lifestyles in people with low health literacy and Type 2 Diabetes. She was presented with the Niers Fund eHealth Voucher worth €5000 at the TechMed event held on 1 November.
Recent research shows that one in four people in the Netherlands have difficulty obtaining, understanding and evaluating health-related information, which is known as low health literacy (LHL). Having LHL can lead to poorly informed health-related decisions and negative health outcomes. In the Netherlands, more than 10 million people have been diagnosed with one or more chronic diseases. For this reason, it is very important to offer effective self-management support, particularly for people with LHL.
A common chronic disease in the Netherlands is Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (DM2), and a healthy lifestyle is essential to treating and controlling the condition. However, people with LHL often experience difficulties understanding self-management programmes aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle. This leads to a lack of understanding of their illness and the necessary changes to their lifestyle, which ultimately results in worse health outcomes.
Lieverse’s ‘DiaBook’ tackles this problem. The ‘DiaBook’ is a series of interactive audiobooks specially designed with communication strategies to help people with LHL understand and implement the lifestyle changes needed to effectively control their Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. The first book in the series has already been developed in partnership with the target group and relevant experts, but it still needs some fine-tuning.
The goal of the project is to further develop the prototype of the ‘DiaBook’ and comprehensively evaluate it with the target group. Feedback from users and experts will enable optimisation of the audiobook.
The initial responses to the ‘DiaBook’ prototype have been very positive. Users say the interactive elements and the user-friendliness of the audiobook enable them to better understand the information and apply it in their daily lives. This is a very promising result that justifies further development.
The eHealth Voucher consists of €5000 in funding plus development support from the DesignLab, Novel-T and the UT Biomedical Signals and Systems chair. The Niers Fund eHealth Voucher is awarded annually to a Bachelor’s or Master’s student, PhD student or young alumnus (someone who graduated within the last three years) with an innovative idea for an eHealth solution. The voucher is sponsored by the Niers Fund, a named fund at the Twente University Fund. The Niers Fund was set up in 1988 as a gift from the Overijssel business community on the occasion of the departure of Queen’s Commissioner J.L.M. Niers.
The urgency of the problem of low literacy in relation to health and the choice of an eHealth solution for this target group, plus the fact that there is already a prototype, developed in partnership with the target group and experts, prompted the jury to nominate Floor Lieverse as the winner of the Niers Fund eHealth voucher 2023.
For more information about the ‘DiaBook’ and the chance to get involved in the project, please contact the press officer. More information about the study Creative Technology is avialable here: Creative Technology.