Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Health of Society


Mobile phone applications and other virtual care interventions such as telehealth present both a big problem and a big opportunity for improving the health of people with chronic diseases, in particular type 2 diabetes. These diseases have become more common in recent years, and with this increasing prevalence despite prevention efforts one thing is clear: we must adapt our healthcare methods to meet this growing pressure. The advent of COVID-19 has only made this problem worse, as people’s care has been fragmented and fractured during the outbreak of a global pandemic.

The downside to apps and other virtual care interventions is that people don’t use them for very long. There’s emerging research showing that people often stop using their mobile applications, even the health ones, very quickly. We aren’t sure exactly how quickly this happens, and it seems to vary a lot between apps and health conditions, but it might be as many as 98% of people dropping out of app-based interventions within days of signing up. While other interventions such as telehealth may have better retention, even these have had challenges in getting people to use them long-term. Needless to say, a health intervention that lasts less than a week is not going to be as effective as one that people stick to for months or years.

FoR codes (2020)

4202 Epidemiology, 320208 Endocrinology, 420302 Digital health



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.