Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is defined as new onset or recognition of glucose intolerance in pregnancy. Evidence supports tight blood glucose regulation to prevent adverse maternal and fetal outcomes. Finger-prick blood glucose (BG) testing with frequent clinic review remains the most common method of managing diabetes in pregnancy. The prevalence of GDM is rising globally, pressuring resource-limited services. We have developed an intuitive, interactive, reliable, and accurate management system to record BG measurements and deliver management of GDM remotely. Following an initial scoping phase, a prototype software application was developed using an Android smartphone with BG meter linkage via Bluetooth. A custom website was built for clinician review of the data transmitted by the smartphone. After system refinement, further evaluation was undertaken for usability and reliability in a 48-patient service development project. Women used the system for an average of 13.1 weeks. In all, 19 686 BG measures were transmitted, 98.6% of which had a meal tag. A total of 466 text messages were transmitted. A mean of 30 BG readings per woman per week were transmitted, and 85% of women submitted the minimum requirement of 18 readings per week. We have developed a novel, real-time, smartphone-based BG monitoring management system that allows clinician review of real-time patient-annotated BG results. Results indicate high usage and excellent compliance by women. Robust clinical, economic, and satisfaction evaluations are required. To address these requirements, we are currently conducting a randomized controlled pilot trial.
Keywords: complex intervention development; digital health; gestational diabetes; self monitoring.
© 2014 Diabetes Technology Society.