Mobile phone aid to diabetes management

SENDING self-management text messages to people with diabetes may improve glycaemic control, research suggests.

A meta-analysis of 22 trials involving over 1600 people with diabetes showed that when mobile phones were used for self-management of diabetes, HbA1c was reduced by a mean of 0.5% over six months.

The effect of mobile phone intervention on HbA1c wasn’t affected by sample size, study design, intervention contents, technology and frequency, or mean baseline HbA1c, age or body weight of the participants.

Mobile phone interventions were more successful in people with type 2 diabetes, lowering HbA1c by 0.8% compared with 0.3% in people with type 1 diabetes.

 Most of the trials used a mobile phone SMS to deliver blood glucose test results and self-management information.

Five studies used personalised SMS interventions, tailored to age and sex of the patient, and including goal-specific prompts.