Abstract / Description: 

BACKGROUND: Connected devices that allow people with diabetes to monitor their blood glucose levels remotely with data visualization have been shown to improve self-care behavior in diabetes management. However, their effectiveness and usability for a low-middle-income, racially diverse population are unknown. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to evaluate the effects of remote telemonitoring with team-based management on people with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. DESIGN: This was a pragmatic 52-week cluster-randomized controlled study among 11 primary care government practices in Malaysia. PARTICIPANTS: People with type 2 diabetes aged 18 and above, who had hemoglobin A1c ??7.5% but less than 11.0% within the past 3 months and resided in the state of Selangor. INTERVENTION: The intervention group received home gluco-telemonitors and transmitted glucose data to a care team who could adjust therapy accordingly. The team also facilitated self-management by supporting participants to improve medication adherence, and encourage healthier lifestyle and use of resources to reduce risk factors. Usual care group received routine healthcare service. MAIN MEASURE: The primary outcome was the change in HbA1c at 24 weeks and 52 weeks. Secondary outcomes included change in fasting plasma glucose, blood pressure, lipid levels, health-related quality of life, and diabetes self-efficacy. RESULTS: A total of 240 participants were recruited in this study. The telemonitoring group reported larger improvements in glycemic control compared with control at the end of study (week 24, -?0.05%; 95% CI -?0.10 to 0.00%) and at follow-up (week 52, -?0.03%; -?0.07 to 0.02%, p?=?0.226). Similarly, no differences in other secondary outcomes were observed, including the number of adverse events and health-related quality of life. CONCLUSION: This study indicates that there is limited benefit of replacing telemedicine with the current practice of self-monitoring of blood glucose. Further innovative methods to improve patient engagement in diabetes care are needed.

eCardio Hub Collection
Jun Yang Lee MPharm, Carina Ka Yee Chan PhD, Siew Siang Chua PhD, Chirk Jenn Ng PhD, Thomas Paraidathathu PhD, Kenneth Kwing Chin Lee PhD & Shaun Wen Huey Lee PhD