Association of technologically assisted integrated care with clinical outcomes in type 2 diabetes in Hong Kong using the prospective JADE Program: A retrospective cohort analysis

PLoS Med. 2020 Oct 2;17(10):e1003367. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1003367. eCollection 2020 Oct.


Background: Diabetes outcomes are influenced by host factors, settings, and care processes. We examined the association of data-driven integrated care assisted by information and communications technology (ICT) with clinical outcomes in type 2 diabetes in public and private healthcare settings.

Methods and findings: The web-based Joint Asia Diabetes Evaluation (JADE) platform provides a protocol to guide data collection for issuing a personalized JADE report including risk categories (1-4, low-high), 5-year probabilities of cardiovascular-renal events, and trends and targets of 4 risk factors with tailored decision support. The JADE program is a prospective cohort study implemented in a naturalistic environment where patients underwent nurse-led structured evaluation (blood/urine/eye/feet) in public and private outpatient clinics and diabetes centers in Hong Kong. We retrospectively analyzed the data of 16,624 Han Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes who were enrolled in 2007-2015. In the public setting, the non-JADE group (n = 3,587) underwent structured evaluation for risk factors and complications only, while the JADE (n = 9,601) group received a JADE report with group empowerment by nurses. In a community-based, nurse-led, university-affiliated diabetes center (UDC), the JADE-Personalized (JADE-P) group (n = 3,436) received a JADE report, personalized empowerment, and annual telephone reminder for reevaluation and engagement. The primary composite outcome was time to the first occurrence of cardiovascular-renal diseases, all-site cancer, and/or death, based on hospitalization data censored on 30 June 2017. During 94,311 person-years of follow-up in 2007-2017, 7,779 primary events occurred. Compared with the JADE group (136.22 cases per 1,000 patient-years [95% CI 132.35-140.18]), the non-JADE group had higher (145.32 [95% CI 138.68-152.20]; P = 0.020) while the JADE-P group had lower event rates (70.94 [95% CI 67.12-74.91]; P < 0.001). The adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) for the primary composite outcome were 1.22 (95% CI 1.15-1.30) and 0.70 (95% CI 0.66-0.75), respectively, independent of risk profiles, education levels, drug usage, self-care, and comorbidities at baseline. We reported consistent results in propensity-score-matched analyses and after accounting for loss to follow-up. Potential limitations include its nonrandomized design that precludes causal inference, residual confounding, and participation bias.

Conclusions: ICT-assisted integrated care was associated with a reduction in clinical events, including death in type 2 diabetes in public and private healthcare settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / statistics & numerical data*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Hong Kong / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Program Evaluation
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Care / methods
  • Treatment Outcome

Grants and funding

Yes. This analysis was partially funded by the Hong Kong Government Public Policy Research Funding Scheme (2015.A4.008.15C; to JCNC). The funder had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.