In a two-group randomized controlled trial of 72 participants, patients in both groups were asked to continue with their usual care, which included a visit to their primary diabetes healthcare practitioner every three months. Patients in the intervention arm were given a free diabetes self-management iPhone app that allowed them to manually enter blood glucose levels, insulin dosages, other medications, diet and physical activities.
In addition, a text-messaging program was used so patients could be texted by a Certified Diabetes Educator (intervention group). Over the six-month intervention period, a total of 1,714 text messages were sent, which equated to approximately two text messages per patient per week.
The study found that “integrating a smartphone application into secondary care was effective in improving glycemic control in patients with type 1 diabetes.” Of the initial 72 patients, 53 completed the study (25 intervention, 28 control group). The intervention group significantly improved glycemic control from baseline to nine-month follow-up, compared to the control group.