Mobile app improves blood sugar maintenance in diabetic patients

Type 1 and 2 diabetes patients using the One Drop mobile app were able to improve blood sugar control, according to a study published in JMIR Diabetes.

Managing a chronic disease like type 1 or 2 diabetes requires individuals to juggle glucose monitors with physician visits and insulin pumps. In this study, researchers tested the One Drop mobile app for improvements in blood sugar control and patient engagement. The app allowed users to manually and passively store, track and share data about their diabetes.

"We used real-world data to produce timely and relevant results," said Chandra Osborn, vice president of health and behavioral informatics at One Drop. "More often than not, relevance and the gold standard randomized controlled trial are at odds. We didn't perform a RCT on outdated technology. We studied current technology and recent data, and found A1c improved among people using the One Drop app. We also linked that improvement to tracking self-care with the app."

The study enrolled 367 patients with type 1 diabetes and 921 with type 2 diabetes where 1,646 self-care activities were monitored. Participants blood sugar control was measured after 60 days and 120 days.

Results showed the app reduced blood sugar levels by 1.1 percent. In type 2 diabetes patients, the app decreased blood sugar by 1.3 percent and .9 percent in type 1 diabetes patients.

“People with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes reported a 1.07 percent to 1.27 percent absolute reduction in blood sugar during a median four months of using the One Drop mobile app. Using the app to track self-care was associated with improved blood sugar,” concluded first author Chandra Osborn, PhD, MPH and colleagues. “More research is needed on the health benefits of publicly available diabetes apps, particularly studies associating app engagement with short- and long-term effects.”