Background: Health information technology has been proven to be a successful tool for the management of patients with multiple medical conditions. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of an enhanced telemedicine system on glucose control and pregnancy outcomes in women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).
Subjects and methods: We used an Internet-based telemedicine system to also allow interactive voice response phone communication between patients and providers and to provide automated reminders to transmit data. Women with GDM were randomized to either the telemedicine group (n=40) or the control group (n=40) and asked to monitor their blood glucose levels four times a day. Women in the intervention group transmitted those values via the telemedicine system, whereas women in the control group maintained paper logbooks, which were reviewed at prenatal visits. Primary outcomes were infant birth weight and maternal glucose control. Data collection included blood glucose records, transmission rates for the intervention group, and chart review.
Results: There were no significant differences between the two groups (telemedicine vs. controls) in regard to maternal blood glucose values or infant birth weight. However, adding telephone access and reminders increased transmission rates of data in the intervention group compared with the intervention group in our previous study (35.6±32.3 sets of data vs.17.4±16.9 sets of data; P<0.01).
Conclusions: Our enhanced telemedicine monitoring system increased system utilization and contact between women with GDM and their healthcare providers but did not impact upon pregnancy outcomes.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00778804.