Mobile phones to help diabetes patients

 

The development of a new computer software programme allows patients with type 2 diabetes to manage their condition through the use of their mobile phones.

According to a study by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the amount of haemoglobin A1c in a person’s blood was lowered by 1.9% over a period of a year in patients using the mobile health software.

Dr Charlene C. Quinn, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, stated that the results were encouraging, and that “previous randomised clinical trials have suggested that just a 1% decrease in A1c will prevent complications of diabetes, including heart disease, stroke, blindness and kidney failure.”

The study indicates that the use of modern technology may be able to help patients and their physicians manage more health conditions in the future.

Dr Quinn commented: “Mobile health has the potential to help patients better self-manage any chronic disease, not just diabetes. This is one of the first large, reported, randomized clinical studies examining the mobile health industry, which is rapidly growing.”

The software sends the patient’s blood sugar results wirelessly from a blood glucose monitor to the mobile phone. If the level is too low or too high, the software prompts the patient to rectify the reading. The system can also send logbooks and suggested treatment plans to the patient’s doctor.

The FDA has released draft guidance on how it intends to regulate the field.