Social Networking Site for Diabetics
In today’s tech savvy world, we can use social media for just about everything. Facebook can function as a never-ending class reunion, Twitter lets us keep tabs on close friends and celebrities alike and now, social media can even be used to track our health and share with others.
One such site is TuDiabetes.org, a social network for people with or affected by diabetes. It currently has almost 14,700 members. The website recently partnered with Children’s Hospital Boston to create a new online application where members can communicate their Hemoglobin A1c levels–a health metric used to measure a person’s control over his or her diabetes over a prolonged period of time–within the TuDiabetes community.
Called TuAnalyze, the new applications enables TuDiabetes members to easily share (publicly or anonymously) some of their health history as part of a massive data donation drive being conducted to enhance public knowledge of the disease and possibly improve its research and treatment.
Once enough A1c levels have been registered using TuAnalyze, a map of the United States will be color-coded and placed on the site, with specific colors representing the average A1c levels of people with diabetes in that area. This visual representation of A1c levels will quickly let TuDiabetes members know where their home state stands in terms of controlling the disease and how their personal A1c levels compare to a national and regional average.
This information has obvious advantages for researchers tracking trends in the disease, but TuAnalyze’s creators hope it can have a personal effect on the diabetes community as well. It’s their belief that the shared experience of the application could inspire some people to take a more proactive role in their own treatment as well prompt discussions about diabetes, its expanding numbers and its treatment.
Are you or is someone close to you affected by diabetes and looking for a web-based community made up of others with similar experiences? If so TuDiabetes.org could be the perfect online forum for you to talk, share and support like-minded individuals. While there feel free to check out the TuAnalyze section, compare your diabetes management to national and state averages and join the movement to help educate people about the disease.
By Tripp Underwood from Childrens Hospital Boston, used with permission.