Background: The Livongo for Diabetes Program offers members (1) a cellular technology-enabled, two-way messaging device that measures blood glucose (BG), centrally stores the glucose data, and delivers messages back to the individual in real time; (2) unlimited BG test strips; and (3) access to a diabetes coaching team for questions, goal setting, and automated support for abnormal glucose excursions. The program is sponsored by at-risk self-insured employers, health plans and provider organizations where it is free to members with diabetes or it is available directly to the person with diabetes where they cover the cost.
Objective: The objective of our study was to evaluate BG data from 4544 individuals with diabetes who were enrolled in the Livongo program from October 2014 through December 2015.
Methods: Members used the Livongo glucose meter to measure their BG levels an average of 1.8 times per day. We estimated the probability of having a day with a BG reading outside of the normal range (70-180 mg/dL, or 3.9-10.0 mmol/L) in months 2 to 12 compared with month 1 of the program, using individual fixed effects to control for individual characteristics.
Results: Livongo members experienced an average 18.4% decrease in the likelihood of having a day with hypoglycemia (BG <70 mg/dL) and an average 16.4% decrease in hyperglycemia (BG >180 mg/dL) in months 2-12 compared with month 1 as the baseline. The biggest impact was seen on hyperglycemia for nonusers of insulin. We do not know all of the contributing factors such as medication or other treatment changes during the study period.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that access to a connected glucose meter and certified diabetes educator coaching is associated with a decrease in the likelihood of abnormal glucose excursions, which can lead to diabetes-related health care savings.
Keywords: SMBG; blood glucose self-monitoring; diabetes management; diabetes mellitus; diabetes remote monitoring; self-care.
©Janelle Downing, Jenna Bollyky, Jennifer Schneider. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (http://www.jmir.org), 11.07.2017.