Sanofi Aventis’s subsidiary Sanofi Diabetes has launched another health and wellness app using gamification called Mission T1D—aimed at improving the understanding of Type 1 Diabetes among children, parents and caregivers in the school environment. The app, available for download on iOS, Android and PC devices, educates primary school-age children about Type 1 Diabetes and how to live with it.
Type 1 Diabetes: A Global Problem
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 34.7 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, about 78,000 youth develop Type 1 Diabetes every year.
Diabetes is a chronic health condition wherein the pancreas produces little or no insulin, preventing the body’s cells from absorbing glucose. The unabsorbed glucose in the bloodstream can damage blood vessels over time, leading to many diabetes-related complications—such as kidney failure, nerve damage, retina problems and cardiovascular diseases.
Currently there is no cure for Type 1 Diabetes, and it cannot be prevented. So, it becomes imperative that people with the disease receive education about their condition and how best to manage it. However, the recent National Paediatric Diabetes Audit Report revealed that patients are not receiving the support they need—citing that 94.2% of infants, children and young people with diabetes do not receive all of the care processes recommended by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), according to Sanofi’s press release.
"Type 1 diabetes is a complex and serious condition. Furthermore, when the facts about Type 1 diabetes are not appreciated and understood, extra pressure is placed upon those living with it. Thankfully, technology can play a big role in broadening awareness and understanding among people of all ages."
The Mission T1D Gamification App: How it Helps
The Mission T1D app aims to improve health outcomes in children with diabetes by improving the level of understanding about the disease. The game is set in a school environment and the players must earn points to advance through various levels. At each level, a wise old man—“the sensei”—provides short, practical, and illustrated messages about living with Type 1 Diabetes.
Players can watch educational videos at the end of each level as they progress to finally becoming “grand masters.” The videos explain important concepts such as:
- What is Type 1 Diabetes?
- Living everyday with Type 1 Diabetes
- What is hypoglycemia and how do I prevent it?
- What is hyperglycemia and how do I prevent it?
- Having a healthy diet—with or without Type 1 Diabetes.
The game, along with videos and quizzes, can also be used in a classroom setting and serves as a useful kit for teachers to educate students about diabetes.
“Children with diabetes and their families face many challenges in their daily lives as they care for a very complex life-long condition. It is essential that children, parents and carers have the knowledge and skills to manage diabetes but they also need their friends, teachers and other people in the school environment to understand and support them to care for their diabetes effectively. Sharing information and fostering a caring environment at school will help children with diabetes to feel normal, happy and ensure that they reach their full potential in a safe environment.”
Dr. Sheridan Waldron
Specialist Diabetes Dietician
Sanofi’s Gamification Track Record
Mission T1D is the second diabetes gamification app launched by Sanofi aimed at children. Last year, it released an app called “Monster Manor,” that encourages players to regularly test their blood glucose levels using games and animated characters. The logged results are automatically sent to parents’ smartphones, and the children can then earn rewards.
Rebecca Reeve, Head of Professional Relations at Sanofi Diabetes says: "As a company, we have entered the diabetes gaming arena to improve health outcomes for children with Type 1 diabetes. We are committed to making a difference to the lives of children who are struggling with the challenge of managing diabetes, especially in an environment where they can easily be made to feel different. We hope that the teachers, parents and carers for whom this game was developed will make it their mission to make this game a success."
Sanofi Diabetes continues to make the most of a child’s desire to play with the Mission T1D gamification app—supporting health and wellness for children who face the lifelong challenge of living with Type 1 Diabetes.