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From Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics
Health coaching is the most effective proven method to reduce the impact of chronic disease, bar none. But the real kicker is when technology is layered on, coaches become superhuman. The become far more efficient, and as a result increase their panel sizes and patient outcomes by leaps and bounds. That’s the Twine effect.
Background: Overseeing proper insulin initiation and titration remains a challenging task in diabetes care. Recent advances in mobile technology have enabled new models of collaborative care between patients and healthcare providers (HCPs). We hypothesized that the adoption of such technology could help individuals starting basal insulin achieve better glycemic control compared with standard clinical practice.
Materials and Methods: This was a 12 – 2-week randomized controlled study with 40 individuals with type 2 diabetes who were starting basal insulin due to poor glycemic control. The control group (n=20) received standard face-to-face care and phone follow-up as needed in a tertiary center, whereas the intervention group (n=20) received care through the cloud-based diabetes management program where regular communications about glycemic control and insulin doses were conducted via patient self-tracking tools, shared decision-making interfaces, secure text messages, and virtual visits (audio, video, and shared screen control) instead of office visits. Results: By intention-to-treat analysis, the intervention group achieved a greater hemoglobin A1c decline compared with the control group (3.2 – 1.5% vs. 2.0% – 2.0%; P = 0.048). The Diabetes Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire showed a significant improvement in the intervention group compared with the control group (an increase of 10.1–11.7 vs. 2.1–6.5 points; P=0.01). HCPs spent less time with patients in the intervention group compared with those in the control group (65.9 min per subject vs. 81.6 min per subject). However, the intervention group required additional training time to use the mobile device.
Conclusions: Mobile health technology could be an effective tool in sharing data, enhancing communication, and improving glycemic control while enabling collaborative decision making in diabetes care.