Study Finds mHealth App To Accurately Monitor Glucose Levels In Type 2 Diabetics

A recent study published in JMIR has found that an mHealth application is a suitable method for treating type 2 diabetes patients’ short-term glycemic control. Diabetes is a chronic disease that poses a major threat to public health. According to the study, since 2000, the number of individuals with diabetes has tripled, and in 2021, over 500 million individuals globally will have diabetes. To manage diabetes, individuals must maintain glucose levels within a specific range. This is achieved through various methods including self-monitoring or blood glucose and lifestyle modifications. Maintaining glucose levels can be very challenging to patients and healthcare providers. This is due to the difficulty to encourage individuals to make alterations to their lifestyle, to interpret self-monitored glucose levels, to provide accurate feedback to a patient as a result of short clinical visits. To combat these challenges, diabetics and healthcare providers have looked towards mHealth applications that monitor glucose levels.  

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the self-monitoring mobile app, researchers utilized EMR information to carry out a 26-week randomized controlled study. The data was collected from 234 participants who were assessed on their HbA1c levels, along with self-efficacy, self-care, and satisfaction. The participants were then categorized into 3 various subgroups based on physicians feedback, mobile diabetes self-care, and usual care. 

12 weeks into the trial period, researchers discovered that HbA1c readings had ultimately decreased. Nevertheless, the data varied among three categories. All three subgroups exhibited identical HbA1c readings at the  conclusion of the trial, which ranged from -0.6 to -0.8. However, despite these results, the MPC demonstrated the most significant drop in HbA1c levels immediately after the services were implemented. This was particularly noticeable in individuals who were under 65, had their condition diagnosed earlier than 10 years before the trial, and had a BMI of 25 or greater. The researchers found that approximately 87% of the patients claimed they were satisfied with the system. 

The researchers concluded that the mHealth application demonstrated great potential to treat type 2 diabetes. Despite the lack of variations between the intervention and control groups, the app showed to reduce HbA1c levels and demonstrated short-term glycemic control management.