Towards a model for user-centred design using a positive deviance approach: A case for diabetes self-management
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Over the past twenty years there have been substantive efforts across the African continent to ensure penetration and reach of mobile technology to the citizenry. However there continues to be a debate on precisely how developmental outcomes may be forged through this escalating penetration of communications technologies. This paper responds to the question of how development outcomes in the area of health, and specifically that of diabetes mellitus, can be achieved through the effective application of ICTs in the context of mobile applications. Diabetes Mellitus is a leading cause of morbidity in low-income and middle-income countries, with the number of patients projected to increase globally to 205 million by 2035. The increased number of patients in countries with limited resources requires innovative approaches to support a regime of patient self-management. In pursuance of this, and given the increasing pervasiveness of communications infrastructure amongst communities in South Africa, the role of Information and communications technology (ICT) in addressing the problem requires investigation. In particular, issues in relation to the adoption and effective use of ICTs, especially amongst previously disadvantaged and underserved communities, warrants exploration. The paper thus assesses the role of m-health at primary care level and posits a user-centred design approach to involve patients in designing an m-health intervention which meets their needs.