Background: Telehome care has been proposed as a solution to the challenges of providing effective and affordable care for patients with diabetes.
Methods: A total of 100 adult patients with type 2 diabetes-divided between insulin and noninsulin requiring-was enrolled in a randomized, controlled trial aimed at investigating the effects of telehome monitoring. The experimental group (n = 50) received an in-home wireless glucose monitor and transmitter, whereas the control group (n = 50) was instructed to follow the conventional arrangement.
Results: There was an overall reduction in HbA1c values in both experimental and control groups after 6 months. A significant difference in HbA1c values between the groups was observed only among the noninsulin-requiring patients (decline from 6.95% ± 0.82% to 6.66% ± 0.86% in IB vs. 7.21% ± 2.02% to 7.2% ± 1.86% in IIB; p = 0.02). The experimental group reported considerably less hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic events. The profile of the patient who benefited the most from telemonitoring consisted of older, more educated patient who had acquired the disease relatively recently, and who spends most of the time at home. The experimental group had higher overall scores on quality of life measures and sense of control over diabetes. There was a positive association between educational attainment and ability to use the telemonitoring system without help (p = 0.045).
Conclusions: Although not conclusive because of the small sample and short observation period, the study suggests that telehome monitoring is an effective tool in controlling type 2 diabetes in a primary care setting.