ADA 2021 Study Outlines Benefits of RPM on Glycemic Control in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes


A study assessing use of remote patient monitoring in patients with type 2 diabetes outlines the impact continued participation in digital monitoring programs can have on glycemic control among this patient population.

Doctor demonstrating telehealth program

Once a distant idea discussed at scientific sessions as an approach years away from implementation, use of telehealth and remote patient monitoring have become a necessity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Further proving this point is an analysis from the American Diabetes Association’s 81st Scientific Sessions (ADA 2021) outlining the use of telehealth services for monitoring glycemic control among patients with type 2 diabetes from nearly a dozen healthcare systems across the US.

"The emergence of digital health tools like connected devices and mobile apps for self-management has not only helped people with type 2 diabetes in the daily management of their disease but also facilitated the sharing of their data with their care teams," said Mark Clements, MD, PhD, a practicing endocrinologist and Chief Medical Officer of Glooko, which sponsored the current study, in a statement. “These results demonstrate that, with access to patient data, care teams can identify patients with sub-optimal glycemic control and provide them with timely, remote-based interventions outside of routine clinic visits that lead to significant glycemic improvements in the near term as well as on a sustainable basis."

Presented at ADA 2021 by Sarine Babikian, PhD, the current study was designed to assess whether enrolling in a remote patient monitoring pilot program might help improve glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. Using telehealth platforms, all program participants were instructed to sync blood glucose meters with a mobile app or using computer-based software and were followed for up to 12 months. As part of the program, patients had access to coaching and other remote-based interventions.

In total, investigators identified 424 participants to take part in their pilot study. This population was 46% female and had a median age of 50 (IQR, 42-59) years. Among these, 331 reached the 3-month follow-up, 228 reached the 6-month follow-up, and 129 completed 12 months of follow-up.

Upon analysis, overall trends of immediate and sustained improvements were observed for mean blood glucose levels (baseline: 178 mg/dL to approx. 155 mg/dL at 3, 6, 12 months; P for all < .05) and mean proportion of in-range (baseline: 60% to approx. 74% at 3, 6, 12 months; P for all <.05) and high SMBG measurements, which was defined as greater than 250 mg/dL (baseline: 14% to approx. 8% at 3, 6, 12 months; P for all < .05). Investigators also pointed out there were no difference in the proportion of patients with hypoglycemia.

“We found that glycemic improvements were observed within 3 months of RPM program enrollment and then they were sustained with continued participation. These kinds of programs that incorporate remote data sharing and coaching can support and maintain positive glycemic control for people living with type 2 diabetes,” said Babikian during her presentation.

This study, “Immediate and Sustained Trends in Glycemic Control during Remote Patient Monitoring in People with Type 2 Diabetes,” was presented at ADA 2021.

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