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Published on 27.10.15 in Vol 1, No 1 (2015): October

This paper is in the following e-collection/theme issue:


    Determining the Commercial Opportunity of a Skill-Based Mobile Application for Patients With Type 2 Diabetes:A Feasibility Test With Patients and Providers in a Healthcare Setting

    MicroMass Communications, Inc., Strategy, Cary, NC, United States

    *all authors contributed equally

    Corresponding Author:

    Jessica Brueggeman

    MicroMass Communications, Inc.


    100 Regency Forest Drive, Suite 400

    Cary, NC, 27518

    United States

    Phone: 1 919 256 2403

    Fax:1 919 851 3182



    Background: More than 29 million people in the U.S. live with diabetes. It is imperative to find solutions that empower and help patients build skills to better self-manage their disease independently in their daily lives. MicroMass Communications, Inc. will conduct a feasibility study to determine the acceptability and usability of Time 2 Focus, a type 2 diabetes mobile application (app). The app incorporates evidence-based behavioral techniques and leverages gamification principles to drive patients’ self-management behaviors. The experience guides patients through progressive skill-building activities related to real-world situations. Unlike current mobile apps for type 2 diabetes, Time 2 Focus goes beyond simple tracking and patient education. The app aims to improve patients’ confidence in their ability to carry out tasks, build problem-solving skills, and make better decisions—ultimately leading to better clinical outcomes.

    Objective: MicroMass has tested Time 2 Focus in a convenience sample of nine participants recruited from employer groups. To determine the acceptability and usability of the mobile app on a larger scale, MicroMass intends to conduct a feasibility study with FirstHealth of the Carolinas. FirstHealth serves a patient population that is disproportionately affected by type 2 diabetes. The study aims to determine if a type 2 diabetes mobile app to improve problem-solving skills is feasible and acceptable to patients/healthcare providers, and the optimal way to integrate the app into the process of care.

    Methods: FirstHealth will identify a representative sample (n=600) of patients with type 2 diabetes from their existing electronic health record (EHR) system. These patients will be mailed a survey about type 2 diabetes self-management and mobile app use. MicroMass will invite participants to take part in interviews. The MicroMass research staff will conduct interviews with 6 to 12 patients and interviews with 6 to 12 healthcare providers who work with patients with type 2 diabetes. Patients and healthcare providers will provide feedback on Time 2 Focus and how it could be implemented into the process of care.

    Results: Before the feasibility study, nine patients examined the usability of Time 2 Focus. From preliminary data, patients found Time 2 Focus to be helpful in managing their type 2 diabetes. Results from the feasibility study will direct next steps to help improve Time 2 Focus.

    Conclusions: Solutions that can easily be integrated into the existing process of care and meet the needs of patients with type 2 diabetes are needed. The intent in developing and testing the feasibility of Time 2 Focus is to make the app commercially available to health systems as a cost-effective, scalable, and wide-reaching solution to improve clinical outcomes.

    iProc 2015;1(1):e10



    (This is a conference paper presented at the Connected Health Symposium, Boston, 2015, which was not edited and is only lightly peer-reviewed).

    Multimedia Appendix 1

    Extended abstract.

    PDF File (Adobe PDF File), 774KB


      Edited by G Eysenbach, T Hale; submitted 14.05.15; peer-reviewed by D Bibeau, T Keyser, B Barnes; comments to author 18.06.15; accepted 20.07.15; published 27.10.15

      ©Jessica Brueggeman, Rob Peters, Neala Havener. Originally published in JMIR Mhealth and Uhealth (, 27.10.2015.

      This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR mhealth and uhealth, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.