August 10, 2011

Managing Diabetes With Your Phone

(Ivanhoe Newswire)--Managing your diabetes could be as simple as using your mobile phone. A study conducted by the University of Maryland School of Medicine is the first of its kind to examine mobile health technology. Mobile phones are improving nurse-patient communication and monitoring health through innovative applications that are expected to increase in use over time. The mobile phone may now be contributing to health care as suggested by this recent study.

 Researchers found that a key measure of blood sugar control was lowered by an average of 1.9 percent over one year in patients that used mobile health software. This study indicates that through mobile communication technology, patients may stay healthier by having access to broad applications to help them and their physicians manage medical conditions.

The study took place over a one year period, enrolling 163 patients in Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Montgomery County, and Anne Arundel County. The patients were divided into four groups. Three patient groups were given mobile phones loaded with diabetes management software and the fourth group remained the control. All the patients however, received a blood glucose meter and testing supplies. The patients with the diabetes management software were able to send their blood sugar test results wirelessly from a blood glucose monitor to their mobile phone. The software detected whether their level was too high or too low, analyzed the patient's information, and suggested treatment plans.

Charles C. Quinn, Ph. D., R.N., an assistant professor of epidemiology and public health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and principal investigator of this study was quoted saying, "Mobile health has the potential to help patients better self-manage any chronic disease, not just diabetes. This is one of the first large, reported, randomized clinical studies examining the mobile health industry, which is rapidly growing. The U.S Food & Drug Administration just last month released draft guidance on how it intends to regulate the field. Our results can help define the science behind this new strategy for disease management."

SOURCE: Diabetes Care; August 10, 2011