Sometimes we get ticked that we have to hit people over the head with a baseball bat to make them understand a common-sense approach. It’s almost as if these people are counter intuitive that the more complex and un-patient friendly something is the more they like it. We thought this affliction was limited to engineers who have a fondness for building things to be used by other engineers. But this illness extends well beyond the engineers and has permeated all levels in diabetes.
We mention this as for years now we have been saying one of the best ways to motivate patients is to bribe them. Give them incentives that matter to them and money is one hell of an incentive. Well now we have a study that backs up what we have been saying all along. Scientists from Duke University, North Carolina discovered financial incentives could encourage teenagers with type 1 diabetes to monitor their blood sugar levels more often.
The authors of this study which was published in JAMA Pediatrics concluded;
“Among adolescents and young adults with type 1 diabetes, daily financial incentives improved glucose monitoring adherence during the incentive period but did not significantly improve glycemic control.”
It’s unclear as to why outcomes did not improve although we suspect the fact these are teenagers had something to do with it. Personally, I don’t think teenagers are human that they don’t become human again until they head off to college. However, the fact that testing frequency improved should shock no one, that is unless you happen work at any diabetes company.
See the biggest problem inflicting diabetes is these people don’t think like a patient. Sure, they talk to patients all the time, have those fancy focus groups and some even use the toys they make but they don’t get it. They think that patients care about something called outcomes when they care more about something they can touch and feel, something that impacts them every day. Most patients don’t feel outcomes but they sure as hell feel it when they are dishing out money to pay for all these way cool whiz bang toys.
The first step towards better outcomes is turning data into patient relevant, patient actionable information. But with no data to analyze we never get to that first step. This study shows that financial incentives solve that problem.
We honestly believe that the folks at diabetes companies would come up with a 65-page manual, complete with fancy diagrams for how to make a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Yep nothing like over complicating something that any idiot can do even those sub-human creatures otherwise known as teenagers can do. Nope let’s come up with something way cool whiz bang that works with equally way cool whiz bang apps that no one uses because they have no reason to use them.
Now we could go on here but why. As Momma Kliff used to say; “Sometimes you need to accept the fact that there is no cure for stupid.”