Evaluation of Patient Willingness to Adopt Remote Digital Monitoring for Diabetes Management

JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Jan 4;4(1):e2033115. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.33115.


Importance: Patients will decide whether to adopt remote digital monitoring (RDM) for diabetes by weighing its health benefits against the inconvenience it may cause.

Objective: To identify the minimum effectiveness patients report they require to adopt 36 different RDM scenarios.

Design, setting, and participants: This survey study was conducted among adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes living in 30 countries from February to July 2019.

Exposures: Survey participants assessed 3 randomly selected scenarios from a total of 36. Scenarios described different combinations of digital monitoring tools (glucose, physical activity, food monitoring), duration and feedback loops (feedback in consultation vs real-time telefeedback by a health care professional or by artificial intelligence), and data handling modalities (by a public vs private company), reflecting different degrees of RDM intrusiveness in patients' personal lives.

Main outcomes and measures: Participants assessed the minimum effectiveness for 2 diabetes-related outcomes (reducing hypoglycemic episodes and preventing ophthalmologic complications) for which they would adopt each RDM (from much less effective to much more effective than their current monitoring).

Results: Of 1577 individuals who consented to participate, 1010 (64%; 572 [57%] women, median [interquartile range] age, 51 [37-63] years, 524 [52%] with type 1 diabetes) assessed at least 1 vignette. Overall, 2860 vignette assessments were collected. In 1025 vignette assessments (36%), participants would adopt RDM only if it was much more effective at reducing hypoglycemic episodes compared with their current monitoring; in 1835 assessments (65%), participants would adopt RDM if was just as or somewhat more effective. The main factors associated with required effectiveness were food monitoring (β = 0.32; SE, 0.12; P = .009), real-time telefeedback by a health care professional (β = 0.49; SE, 0.15; P = .001), and perceived intrusiveness (β = 0.36; SE, 0.06; P < .001). Minimum required effectiveness varied among participants; 34 of 36 RDM scenarios (94%) were simultaneously required to be just as or less effective by at least 25% of participants and much more effective by at least 25% of participants. Results were similar for participant assessments of scenarios regarding the prevention of ophthalmologic complications.

Conclusions and relevance: The findings of this study suggest that patients require greater health benefits to adopt more intrusive RDM modalities, food monitoring, and real-time feedback by a health care professional. Patient monitoring devices should be designed to be minimally intrusive. The variability in patients' requirements points to a need for shared decision-making.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires