Usability and preliminary efficacy of an AI-driven platform supporting dietary management in diabetes: A mixed-method study

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Background: Nutrition plays an important role in diabetes self-management. Online diabetes care, driven by Artificial Intelligence, enables more personalized care. Objectives: This study aims to examine the usability and preliminary efficacy of an online Artificial Intelligence driven nutrition platform to support people with diabetes and their carers in identifying healthy recipes, meal planning, and online shopping. Methods: Diabetes UK signposted people with diabetes and their carers through their website, social media and newsletters. Seventy-three adult participants with (pre)diabetes or their carers, completed the baseline online survey, as did 23 of these after 8 weeks of platform use. Online semi-structured interviews were performed with platform users (n=7) who agreed to be followed-up and diabetes experts (n=3) who had nutrition and/or platform knowledge. The intervention consists of an online platform, incorporating Artificial Intelligence to personalize recipes, meal planning and shopping list experiences, and was made available for a period of 8 weeks. Baseline characteristics, satisfaction, system usability, and (diabetes-related) health indicators were assessed before and after 8 weeks of platform use. Results: Reductions in weight (MeanDiff: 4.5 kg/m2, 95% CI [1.0, 12.0], P=.009, Cliff's ∂ =0.33) and waist size (MeanDiff: 3.9 cm, 95% CI [2.0, 6.5], P=.008, Cliff's ∂ =0.48) were found. Most participants (60.6%) did not regularly use the platform and had low or very low engagement scores. However, the platform was perceived as accessible with no need for additional assistance (52%), user-friendly (38%), and easy to use (38%) regardless of some usability issues. Saving recipes was the most popular feature with a total of 663 saved recipes. Conclusions: This study indicated that the usability of the nutrition platform was well-perceived by its users and their carers. Because participants managed their diabetes well, adding in education would be specifically relevant for people less familiar with the role of diet in diabetes management. To assess the platform’s effectiveness in improving diabetes-related health indicators, controlled studies with a larger and more diverse participant sample, are recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-Press)
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research Human Factors
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 16 Apr 2023


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