MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Chandra Y. Osborn, PhD, MPH
VP, Health & Behavioral Informatics
Informed Data Systems, Inc.
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: There are over 1,500 mobile apps for people with diabetes, but minimal evidence on their benefit. The One Drop | Mobile app launched in April 2015. Users manually and automatically track their blood glucose and self-care activities via One Drop’s | Chrome glucose meter, other Bluetooth-enabled meters, CGMs or other health apps. Users leverage One Drop’s food library, medication scheduler, automatic activity tracking, educational content, recipes, health tips, user polls, and peer support (‘likes’, stickers, and data sharing), and can set blood glucose, medication, carbohydrate intake, and activity goals, receive data-driven insights to draw connections between their behaviors, goals, and blood glucose readings. They can also self-report and track their hemoglobin A1c (A1c) and weight.
In July 2016, we queried data on ~50,000 people using One Drop | Mobile. In March 2017, we queried data on >160,000 users. Only users who had entered an A1c value when they started using the app, and entered a second A1c at least 60 days apart, but no more than 365 days apart, were included. In July 2016, people with diabetes using One Drop | Mobile reported a nearly 0.7% reduction in A1c during 2-12 months of using One Drop. In March 2017, users reported a 1.0% reduction in A1c for the same timeframe. A more recent diabetes diagnosis and using One Drop to track self-care activities was associated with more A1c improvement.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: The takeaways are as follows:
• In 7 months, over three times as many people are using the One Drop | Mobile app.
• The average user reports a 1.0% A1c improvement in 2-12 months of using One Drop | Mobile app.
• More self-care tracking in One Drop is associated with reporting more A1c improvements.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: There’s a lot we don’t know about commercially available apps. More research is needed on the self-care and health benefits of mobile apps for people with diabetes, and other chronic health conditions. Specifically, we recommend people examine the relationship between app utilization and outcomes.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: Research can’t be one and done. We need multiple studies using a variety of methods, particularly as apps iterate on themselves and improve. What gets us closer to ‘reality’ is an accumulation of peer-reviewed evidence using a variety of methods employed by multiple sources. You’ll see more of that from us and third party evaluators in the coming months.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Data presented at the 38th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine in San Diego.
Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.
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