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JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2019 Mar 7;7(3):e11933. doi: 10.2196/11933.

Impact of Use Frequency of a Mobile Diabetes Management App on Blood Glucose Control: Evaluation Study.

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Institut d'Informatica i Aplicacions, Universitat de Girona, Girona, Spain.
Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas, Girona, Spain.



Technology has long been used to carry out self-management as well as to improve adherence to treatment in people with diabetes. However, most technology-based apps do not meet the basic requirements for engaging patients.


This study aimed to evaluate the effect of use frequency of a diabetes management app on glycemic control.


Overall, 2 analyses were performed. The first consisted of an examination of the reduction of blood glucose (BG) mean, using a randomly selected group of 211 users of the SocialDiabetes app (SDA). BG levels at baseline, month 3, and month 6 were calculated using the intercept of a regression model based on data from months 1, 4, and 7, respectively. In the second analysis, the impact of low and high BG risk was examined. A total of 2692 users logging SDA ≥5 days/month for ≥6 months were analyzed. The highest quartile regarding low blood glucose index (LBGI) and high blood glucose index (HBGI) at baseline (t1) was selected (n=74 for group A; n=440 for group B). Changes in HBGI and LBGI at month 6 (t2) were analyzed.


For analysis 1, baseline BG results for type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) groups A and B were 213.61 (SD 31.57) mg/dL and 206.43 (SD 18.65) mg/dL, respectively, which decreased at month 6 to 175.15 (SD 37.88) mg/dL and 180.6 (SD 40.47) mg/dL, respectively. For type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), baseline BG was 218.77 (SD 40.18) mg/dL and 232.55 (SD 46.78) mg/dL, respectively, which decreased at month 6 to 160.51 (SD 39.32) mg/dL and 173.14 (SD 52.81) mg/dL for groups A and B, respectively. This represents a reduction of estimated A1c (eA1c) of approximately 1.3% (P<.001) and 0.9% (P=.001) for T1DM groups A and B, respectively, and 2% (P<.001) for both A and B T2DM groups, respectively. For analysis 2, T1DM baseline LBGI values for groups A and B were 5.2 (SD 3.9) and 4.4 (SD 2.3), respectively, which decreased at t2 to 3.4 (SD 3.3) and 3.4 (SD 1.9), respectively; this was a reduction of 34.6% (P=.005) and 22.7% (P=.02), respectively. Baseline HBGI values for groups A and B were 12.6 (SD 4.3) and 10.6 (SD 4.03), respectively, which decreased at t2 to 9.0 (SD 6.5) and 8.6 (SD 4.7), respectively; this was a reduction of 30% (P=.001) and 22% (P=.003), respectively.


A significant reduction in BG was found in all groups, independent of the use frequency of the app. Better outcomes were found for T2DM patients. A significant reduction in LBGI and HBGI was found in all groups, regardless of the use frequency of the app. LBGI and HBGI indices of both groups tend to have similar values after 6 months of app use.


blood glucose self-monitoring; diabetes mellitus; evaluation studies; mHealth; self-management

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