Objective: To test whether adding mobile application coaching and patient/provider web portals to community primary care compared with standard diabetes management would reduce glycated hemoglobin levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Research design and methods: A cluster-randomized clinical trial, the Mobile Diabetes Intervention Study, randomly assigned 26 primary care practices to one of three stepped treatment groups or a control group (usual care). A total of 163 patients were enrolled and included in analysis. The primary outcome was change in glycated hemoglobin levels over a 1-year treatment period. Secondary outcomes were changes in patient-reported diabetes symptoms, diabetes distress, depression, and other clinical (blood pressure) and laboratory (lipid) values. Maximal treatment was a mobile- and web-based self-management patient coaching system and provider decision support. Patients received automated, real-time educational and behavioral messaging in response to individually analyzed blood glucose values, diabetes medications, and lifestyle behaviors communicated by mobile phone. Providers received quarterly reports summarizing patient's glycemic control, diabetes medication management, lifestyle behaviors, and evidence-based treatment options.
Results: The mean declines in glycated hemoglobin were 1.9% in the maximal treatment group and 0.7% in the usual care group, a difference of 1.2% (P = 0.001) [corrected] over 12 months. Appreciable differences were not observed between groups for patient-reported diabetes distress, depression, diabetes symptoms, or blood pressure and lipid levels (all P > 0.05).
Conclusions: The combination of behavioral mobile coaching with blood glucose data, lifestyle behaviors, and patient self-management data individually analyzed and presented with evidence-based guidelines to providers substantially reduced glycated hemoglobin levels over 1 year.