Methods: 18 adolescents were interviewed after having ≥6 months experience using the closed-loop platform. Data were analysed thematically.
Results: Participants reported feeling less burdened and shackled by diabetes because closed-loop components were easier to carry/wear, finger-pricks were not required, the smartphone app provided a discreet and less stigmatising way of managing diabetes in public; and, they were able to customise alarms. Participants also reported checking and reviewing data more regularly, because they did so when using the smartphone for other reasons. Some reported challenges in school settings where use of personal phones was restricted. Participants highlighted how self-management practices were improved because they could easily review glucose data and adjust closed-loop insulin delivery using the ‘boost’ and ‘ease-off’ functions. Some described how using the system resulted in them forgetting about diabetes and neglecting certain tasks.
Conclusions: A closed-loop system with small components and control algorithm on a smartphone app can enhance usability and acceptability for adolescents and may help address the health-related disparities experienced by this age group. However, challenges can arise from using a medical app on a device which doubles as a smartphone.