Study shows mobile phones can improve diabetes care

Tue, 02 Aug 2011
A new study has assessed the use of mobile health software for patients wanting to manage their diabetes through new technology. Patients with type 2 diabetes were offered an interactive computer software program that helped them to manage their condition using mobile phones, with apparent success.

The software helped provide real-time information on blood sugar levels and medication details, as well as offering guidance. The research, by scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and to be published in the journal Diabetes Care, involved 163 patients who were monitored over the course of a year.

They were split into four groups, with three groups receiving mobile phones containing diabetes management software, while the fourth was a control group. It was shown that a measure of blood sugar control, the levels of haemoglobin A1c in the bloodstream, was reduced by around 1.9 per cent during the trial.

Lead investigator Charlene C. Quinn commented "The 1.9 percent decrease in A1c that we saw in this research is significant. Previous randomized clinical trials have suggested that just a 1 percent decrease in A1c will prevent complications of diabetes, including heart disease, stroke, blindness and kidney failure."

The study also suggested that the use of mobile phones, the internet and mobile communications technology in general had health benefits that could have wider applications for assisting patients and doctors to manage many health conditions, including diabetes.
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