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How to create change one behavior at a time.

This App Helps Diabetics Form New Habits, With Instagram

Based on our last few posts, it may seem I'm president of the Instagram fan club. I won't deny that I've lost embarrassing amounts of time scrolling through pics on the platform (most of which involve desserts), but lately, there's been a lot of behavior-based activity worth noting as well.

Here's one I had to share– an app that uses Instagram to help diabetics develop new habits. 

There are plenty of apps created to help diabetics manage their condition. Here's why this one seems set for success– it leverages a number of the Fourteen Determinants of behavior. It's like determinant soup. We love determinant soup.

1) It increases efficacy, making the seemingly grim task of watching everything you eat and tracking your blood glucose levels as simple as snapping a picture or syncing with a wireless reader.

2) Investment is low, as you simply use a platform that you're likely already using 1,000 times a day (or is that just me?)

3) It provides familiar rewards. Let's be honest, if you post a selfie and no one comments, you're taken back to being that kid sitting alone at your high school lunch table (again, just me?). We're used to the social reward of comments and likes on our posts, and this app not only allows your inner circle to approve of your healthy efforts, but also allows your doctor to chime in offering support or suggestions.

4) Through the commenting capability noted above, it increases your skills. It's tough learning a whole new way to eat and live as a diabetic. This app helps you quickly learn if you're making the right choices– increasing your knowledge base of what to eat and do.

The initial results of the 18 month trial seem promising, with treatment compliance increased by 54% and blood sugar levels decreased by 27%. We'll certainly be patiently waiting to see how the rest of the development process pans out.

 Meisha Thigpen is Associate Creative Director at Marketing for Change.

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