Parenting – We all know that there is little real world preparation or training for the experience, even as a pediatrician, believe it or not. We therefore have to rely on others to help guide us as we raise our children.
It takes a family. We ask for advice from our moms and dads, our grandmothers and grandfathers, and our siblings with kids.
It takes a village.We get advice from friends who have their own kids, and from colleagues at our schools or in our local community.
As a pediatric endocrinologist, I see many overweight or obese children who are referred for evaluation of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
You may be asking, what is type 2 diabetes? It’s the type of diabetes that is associated with carrying excess weight. Only adults used to develop type 2 diabetes, but now unfortunately more and more kids are getting the disease as well.
And what is prediabetes? It’s a condition where individuals don’t have high enough blood glucose levels to be classified as having diabetes, but have a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future compared with other kids.
Pediatricians often refer overweight and obese kids to specialists like me for evaluation of these conditions, but they all don’t necessarily need to see us. The problem is that it’s currently hard to distinguish a child with a high BMI who is at risk for developing diabetes from one who is not; if we knew which tests could best identify kids with prediabetes and diabetes, we could save some patients the step of seeing a pediatric endocrinologist, and get the ones who DO need to see a specialist in for an appointment sooner. The challenge is all about getting the right kids to a specialist at the right time, thereby making our healthcare delivery system more efficient and providing better care to those who need it.
Have you heard of the maker movement? It’s a grass roots “Do It Yourself” (DIY) movement to encourage kids and adults to “learn by doing”, and to do this learning with peers, for the purposes of fun and self-fulfillment.
We (myself and my colleague Matt Kenyon, Associate Professor at the Stamps School of Art and Design) are leading a group of individuals at the University of Michigan and from the larger community, to support maker activities for health, as we believe that kids and caregivers should part of the creation and promotion of health.
To encourage kids to become creators and designers of their own tools and technologies for health, we have created this app design tool.
Here’s a statement you don’t see too many blog posts start out with…
We don’t know what we’ve created, but we know we’re onto something big.
It’s called Healthdesignby.us, and it’s a community of individuals (patients, doctors, makers, artists, designers, researchers, professors, students, advocates) passionate about health, technology, and participatory design.
Curious? Concerned? Skeptical? Let me give you some background.
It all started with a YouTube video.
I know there are lots of readers thinking, “Seriously? A YouTube video?”
Yup. I made a YouTube video with my son back in the fall of 2012.
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