Background: Robot assisted therapy has the potential to provide emotional and educational support to young patients with type 1 diabetes (T1DM).
Objective: To investigate the attitudes of children and young people with T1DM and that of their parents towards the concept of utilising a humanoid robot as an assistant in the management of their diabetes.
Methods: A humanoid robot programmed to help self-management of T1DM at home was introduced to 37 participants (aged 616 years) during their routine clinic visit. The children and parents were given the opportunity to interact with the robot, participate in an educational session provided by the robot and understand the potential utility of the robot in self-management at home. The participants then completed a questionnaire including ten questions, giving feedback on the various features of the robot. Mean scores for each question was calculated.
Results: Overall acceptability amongst the 18 males and 19 females was high at 86.7%, with no significant gender difference. The younger participant group (69 years) consistently scored all features of the robot higher than the older participant groups (1012 and 1316 years). Features of the robot that were highly desirable, amongst all age groups included ability of the robot to give advice on identified patterns of blood glucose (BG) (90.6%) and its ability to relay BG readings to their medical team (89%). Interestingly, the highest scoring feature was the ability to deliver education around diabetes (100% amongst 69 years old). 98.0% of the participants <10 years and 83.4% of participants >10 years expressed an interest in taking the robot home.
Conclusions: Use of robots as a new device to support diabetes self-management in children was highly rated by participants. There is potential to develop this novel technique to help children with T1DM, especially in delivering education to the younger patients.
20 - 22 Sep 2014
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology