Objective: This study evaluated the impact of an Internet-based telematic system on the economic and clinical management of patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus.
Research design and methods: This 6-month prospective, randomized, comparative, open, multicenter study included patients with type 1 diabetes >18 years old treated with multiple insulin doses and with a glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) level of >8%. We compared an intervention group (IG) (two face-to-face and five telematic appointments) with a control group (CG) (seven face-to-face appointments). The variables studied were (1) patient and healthcare team costs, (2) metabolic control, (3) knowledge of diabetes, (4) quality of life, and (5) self-care treatment adherence.
Results: Of the 154 patients included, 118 (76.6%) completed the study (IG, 54; CG, 64). The time used by the CG to follow the program was 823±645 min versus 353±222 min in the IG (P<0.0001). Compared with the CG, the IG required less healthcare time from the professionals (288±105 min vs. 232±89 min; P<0.001). HbA1c improved in both groups (IG, 9.2±1.5% [77.0±17.0 mmol/mol] vs. 8.7±1.5% [71.6±17.0 mmol/mol] [P<0.001]; CG, 9.2±0.9% [77.0±10.0 mmol/mol] vs. 8.6±0.9% [70.5±10.0 mmol/mol] [P<0.001], as did knowledge and self-care treatment adherence.
Conclusions: The use of interactive telematic appointments in subjects with type 1 diabetes and inadequate metabolic control is an efficient strategy, providing results comparable to those of face-to-face appointments in relation to improvement in glycemic control, knowledge acquisition, and self-care treatment adherence, with a significant reduction in the time used, especially by patients.