A few weeks ago I was contacted by someone at Medivo offering me a spot on their Patient Advisory Committee as they jump into the diabetes app landscape. I initially ignored the email until I received a follow-up a few days later offering some additional information about what they were hoping to accomplish and what my role would be. Before I go on, I should provide a little context about my mindset with all this stuff.
I don’t have a need for diabetes apps. I understand their value and recognize their potential, but they just aren’t for me. I credit this largely to my comfort with my diabetes management. My A1c reports over the past year or so have shown consistent improvement. My diet (while still not perfect) continues to include a healthy portion of vegetables and fewer cheat days. And I’m slowly finding a workout routine that’ll bring balance to all of the blood glucose obsessing that I do day in and day out. Like I said, these apps aren’t for me.
Additionally, I maintain a healthy skepticism about all of these things because, quite frankly, I don’t think they work. In the grand landscape of mobile apps, the only ones that I use with any consistency and regularity are ones that are tied to existing institutions that I’m already invested in, most notably: social media. Sure, I have Angry Birds on my phone, but I hardly play it. I pay attention to the new releases and top lists on Google Play, but I rarely do anything beyond observe. I get what I need out of my phone and don’t waste much, if any, time trying to find the next best thing. I’ll pursue an addition to my app download list if I find a need for not, but not sooner. I won’t go so far as to call all of these apps fads, but most of the stories you hear about successful games involve a quick rise to fame and hopefully monetary success followed by a decent to mediocrity. And if this is the typical path for apps designed to entertain, what does that say about the apps that are supposed to lead you down the path to a healthier you?
I don’t think these apps work because I can’t put myself in the mindset of a person who is sufficiently motivated to use one. I genuinely don’t know what it would take to convince someone that one of these apps is what they need to help get some aspect of their health in a better place. This isn’t an attempt at a humble brag, it’s pure ignorance. I haven’t tried any of these things out because I haven’t found a need for one – so it’s difficult for me to find value in any of the diabetes apps that are out there.
But, these apps exist for a reason. And, if I want to figure any of this stuff out I can’t sit on the sideline.
And even if I may never come around to using any of these apps, it would be selfish to turn down an opportunity to make sure that these apps are exactly what the larger diabetes community needs – even if it’s not for me.
All of this to say that I’ve joined Medivo’s Patient Advisory Committee.
Right now, this means I’ll be offering feedback every few weeks to whatever it is they are working on. Sometimes this may be specific to a design document or alpha release of an app, other times it may be to discuss the inner-workings of a person with diabetes (Odin help them if they really want to go down that rabbit hole). To be honest with you, I don’t know what all of this will amount to, but I’m going to do my part to make sure that Medivo get’s it right. Or as right as possible given constraints and requirements that are beyond my control.
Aside from this post, it’s entirely likely that you may never read about Medivo on this blog ever again. I’m under no obligation to promote anything they do or feature any of their products, their employees or anything like that. But now you know. So there’s that.
I’ve updated my disclosure policy to include my involvement with Medivo.