Background: The integration of technology in health care has led to improved medical care and better compliance, especially in chronic diseases such as diabetes. Despite these advances, compliance has always been an issue in caring for adolescents with diabetes. Text messaging has become a popular way to communicate with peers especially for teens. Multiple studies support the theory that texting is an easy and affordable resource that health care providers can utilise to educate youth about health care issues. Other modalities such as web based apps and social media that reinforce diabetes education can also help patients.
Objective and hypotheses: To use a smartphone, a cellular glucometer and social media app to help improve diabetes care in adolescents.
Method: Each participant received a smartphone and a cellular glucometer. The cellular glucometer automatically uploads blood sugars to a website portal that the participants and health care provider can access. We also created a private social media website, as a type of online support group. Each week, our group, which consists of a physician, nurse and social worker, reviewed the blood sugars and texted the participants advice to help improve their blood sugars. Each provider in our group carried a phone, so that participants could contact us. Hemoglobin A1C (HBA1C) values were measured at baseline and after study intervention. We enrolled 30 patients from 12 to 22 years with Type 1 DM.
Results: Out of 30 participants: one withdrew; 12 had a decrease in HBA1C; eight had an increase in HBA1C; nine maintained their HBA1C. Survey done of participants who had a decrease in their HBA1C directly attributed the improvement to the study.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that an integrated technology program to aid in the management of Type 1 DM in adolescents can be used to help improve diabetes control in this population.
Funding: This work was supported from the Verizon Foundation(grant number:10180631).
01 - 03 Oct 2015
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology